Wisden lauds Sangakkara, Lanning

2015-04-08 13:26
Kumar Sangakkara (Getty)

London - Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara has been named as the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2015 Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.

Meanwhile Australia's Meg Lanning has been chosen as the cricket 'bible's' inaugural Leading Woman Cricketer in the World - the first time the England-based annual has bestowed such an award in 152 editions of continuous publication dating back to 1864.

But editor Lawrence Booth was stinging in his criticism of the England and Wales Cricket Board for their "mishandling" of the Kevin Pietersen affair that saw the star batsman axed from the England set-up.

Sangakkara joined India's Virender Sehwag as the only two players to be named as Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World for a second occasion.

The 37-year-old left-handed batsman and wicketkeeper won the award after a stellar 2014 that saw Sangakkara score an all-time record 2,868 international runs in the calendar year, including a triple century.

His feats, which added to an already brilliant career, included a man-of-the-match performance in Sri Lanka's World Twenty20 final win over India last year.

Sangakkara also scored his first Test hundred at Lord's last season, a century which came during Sri Lanka's Test series win over England.

He later confirmed Wisden's judgment by scoring a record four successive hundreds at the recent World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

In a tribute to Sangakkara, set to retire from all international cricket later this year, Booth said: "Choosing (him) just felt natural. And his four consecutive hundreds at the World Cup confirmed we'd chosen the right man.

"We'll miss him when he's gone."

Lanning, who at the age of 21 became the youngest person ever to captain Australia, led her side to the World Twenty20 title and finished 2014 at the top of both the women's one-day international and Twenty20 batting rankings.

Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year is an award dating back to 1889 and is generally based on a player's performances in the preceding English season.

By tradition, it can only be won once in a career and the 2015 list included Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, England rising stars Moeen Ali and Gary Ballance and two notable county players in Adam Lyth and Jeetan Patel.

Booth's critique of the ECB was broad and scathing, the Wisden editor writing: "A few wins might have deflected attention from a charge sheet that would include the mishandling of the Kevin Pietersen affair, worrying Test attendances outside London, a head-in-the-sand attitude to the one-day team, and - not yet a decade after the 2005 Ashes had presented English cricket with a golden chance to attract a new generation to the sport - a fall in the number of recreational players.

"National selector James Whitaker had called (Alastair) Cook 'our exceptional leader'; Paul Downton, the ECB's new managing director, hailed [Peter] Moores as the 'outstanding coach of his generation'; chairman Giles Clarke trumpeted Downton as a 'man of great judgment'. It was a nexus of self-preservation - yet, as the wagons circled, the wheels kept threatening to come off."

Read more on:    kumar sangakkara  |  cricket

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Under fire Proteas coach Russell Domingo has blamed player workloads and fatigue as the reason for the national team's woeful showing in the Tri Series in the Caribbean. Your thoughts?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.