The Five Cricketers of the Year have been chosen by the Wisden that represents a tradition that dates back to 1889, making this the oldest individual award in cricket. Excellence in, or influence on, the previous English summer are the major criteria for inclusion as a Cricketer of the Year. No one can be chosen more than once. And here are the winners of this year.
Kumar Sangakkara: In 2011, no one came close to matching the 2,267 runs Kumar Sangakkara scored in all international cricket. Overall, no one made more than Sangakkara's five hundreds or his 13 fifties and he now stands alone in topping 1,000 runs in both Tests and one-day internationals in a single year on three occasions. But Sangakkara had other virtues too. He had adaptability, scoring Test centuries in the damp of Southampton and the humidity of South Africa, and compiling a double-hundred in the stifling heat of Abu Dhabi. He showed leadership, captaining Sri Lanka to the World Cup final and taking over again for the Rose Bowl Test in England. For the first time since Wisden began naming a Leading Cricketer in the World in 2004, the recipient is also one of the Five Cricketers of the Year.
Tim Bresnan: He touched the heights of world-class all-rounder against India, hitting a powerful 90 to assert England's dominance at Trent Bridge, and taking 16 wickets at 16 apiece, including possibly the ball of the series to dismiss Rahul Dravid at Edgbaston.
Glen Chapple: Even at 37, Glen Chapple was the heart and soul of Lancashire's first outright County Championship win in 77 years, leading his side with verve to take 55 wickets at under 20 each, and bowling heroically through injury against Somerset on a memorable final day of the season.
Alastair Cook: The selection of Alastair Cook was a no-brainer. He compiled four international hundreds last summer, including 294 at Edgbaston - England's highest Test innings since 1990 - and reinvented himself as a one-day opener capable of scoring at all but a run a ball. When Cook took the field against Pakistan for the Second Test at Abu Dhabi in January, England fielded a complete XI of Wisden Cricketers of the Year for the first time since the 1958-59 Ashes.
Alan Richardson: Alan Richardson, the definitive unsung hero, almost singlehandedly saved Worcestershire from relegation, taking 73 Division One wickets with his relentless fast-medium and bowling more overs than anyone in the country bar Monty Panesar.
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