London - South Africa's successful tour of England in 2012 saw three of their
star players - batsman Hashim Amla, all-rounder Jacques Kallis and fast
bowler Dale Steyn - named among Wisden's five Cricketers of the Year.
award that by tradition can only be won once by a player in their
career, the honour - which is the editor's choice alone - primarily
but not exclusively reflects performances in the previous English
South Africa won a three-match series 2-0 with Amla
becoming the first South African to score a Test triple hundred in their
triumph at The Oval and going on to top score in eight international
innings out of 11 on tour.
Kallis, the pre-eminent all-rounder of his generation, made 182 at The Oval while still bowling at genuinely sharp pace.
Kallis is regarded as the best all-rounder now in the game, Steyn has
the same status as a fast bowler with the Proteas' spearhead's career
statistics standing comparison with some of the greatest quicks the game
He overpowered England at The Oval and then starred
again when South Africa took the series at Lord's to replace their hosts
as the world's top Test side.
The other two winners of this
year's award were England batsman Nick Compton, who was honoured for his
county exploits with Somerset, and West Indies' Marlon Samuels.
Compton joins his celebrated grandfather and England batting great Denis, who earned the accolade in 1939.
Australia captain Michael Clarke was named leading cricketer in the
world after a 2012 aggregate of 1 595 runs, including a score of 329 not
out against India in Sydney.
That innings - just shy of the
Australian Test record of 334 held jointly by Don Bradman and Mark
Taylor - ended as a result of Clarke's own declaration.