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Pat Cummins and Sciver-Brunt Named Wisden’s Top Cricketers

In the 2024 edition of the prestigious Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, two exceptional talents have been crowned as the Wisden Leading Cricketers in the World, Australian captain Pat Cummins and England all-rounder Nat Sciver-Brunt.

Pat Cummins: The Unstoppable Force

Australian skipper Pat Cummins has cemented his place as one of the premier fast bowlers in the world, leading his side to remarkable achievements in the past year. The first Aussie since Michael Clarke to secure the top honor, Cummins’ performances have been nothing short of iconic.

Last year, the pace spearhead played a pivotal role in Australia’s maiden ICC World Test Championship triumph, overcoming a fierce challenge from India. He further etched his name in the annals of history by leading his team to their sixth ICC Cricket World Cup title in Ahmedabad, solidifying their dominance in the sport.

Cummins’ impact extended beyond his exploits with the ball, as he made crucial contributions with the bat, scoring 254 runs at an average of 15.87 in 11 Test matches. Across 24 international games, he claimed 59 wickets and scored 422 runs at an average of 21.10, demonstrating his all-round prowess.

Nat Sciver-Brunt: The Epitome of Versatility

On the women’s side, England’s Nat Sciver-Brunt has been recognized as the Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World, a testament to her exceptional performances in the Ashes series.

Sciver-Brunt’s all-round brilliance was instrumental in England’s series wins in the white-ball leg of the Ashes competition. Her back-to-back centuries in the ODI format showcased her batting prowess, while her contributions with the ball further enhanced her value to the team.

In six ODIs last year, Sciver-Brunt amassed 393 runs at a staggering average of 131.00, including three centuries. She also claimed three wickets, proving her versatility on the field. In the Test matches, she scored 137 runs in four innings and took a crucial wicket, further solidifying her status as a genuine all-rounder.

Sciver-Brunt’s exploits extended to the T20I format as well, where she scored 364 runs at an average of 45.50, with three half-centuries, and took five wickets. Her all-round brilliance was recognized by the Mumbai Indians franchise in the inaugural Women’s Premier League, where she played a pivotal role in their championship-winning campaign.

Wisden Cricketers of the Year

In addition to the Wisden Leading Cricketers in the World, the 2024 edition of the Almanack has also honored five exceptional performers with the prestigious Wisden Cricketers of the Year award.

Australian Triumvirate: Starc, Khawaja, and Gardner

Three Australian players have been recognized for their standout performances, particularly in the men’s and women’s Ashes series. Mitchell Starc, Usman Khawaja, and Ashleigh Gardner have all been named as Wisden Cricketers of the Year, solidifying Australia’s dominance on the international stage.

Starc, the pace spearhead, was the top bowler in the Ashes, claiming 23 wickets. His match-winning spells in the 2023 World Cup semifinals and final against South Africa and India, respectively, further cemented his status as a premier fast bowler.

Khawaja, the Australian opener, emerged as the top run-scorer in the men’s Ashes, amassing 496 runs, including a century in the Edgbaston Test. His consistent performances throughout the year, with 1,210 runs at an average of 52.60, have been exemplary.

Ashleigh Gardner’s all-round brilliance in the women’s Ashes has also been recognized, as she picked up 12 wickets in the one-off Test and played a crucial role in Australia’s Ashes triumph. The tenth woman to receive this honor, Gardner’s inclusion marks a significant milestone for the women’s game.

English Duo: Harry Brook and Mark Wood

The Wisden Cricketers of the Year list also includes two English stars – Harry Brook and Mark Wood – who have showcased their exceptional talent on the international stage.

Brook, the breakout English batter, scored 363 runs in five Ashes Tests, playing a pivotal role in England’s fightback after the initial setbacks. His consistent performances throughout the year, with 1,280 runs at an average of 38.78 in 32 international games, have been instrumental in England’s resurgence.

Mark Wood’s fiery spells in the Ashes have also been recognized, as he claimed 14 wickets in just three matches, including a scintillating display against Marnus Labuschagne and Usman Khawaja. His ability to consistently clock high speeds and trouble the opposition has made him a valuable asset in the English bowling attack.

The Wisden Trophy and T20 Cricketer of the Year

In addition to the Wisden Leading Cricketers and Cricketers of the Year, the 2024 edition of the Almanack has also honored other standout performances.

The Wisden Trophy, awarded for the best Test performance of the year, has been presented to Australia’s Travis Head for his scintillating knock of 163 in the World Test Championship final against India.

Furthermore, West Indies all-rounder Hayley Matthews has been named the Wisden Leading T20 Cricketer, recognizing her exceptional performances that included eight successive Player of the Match awards.

The Enduring Ashes Rivalry

The captivating nature of the Ashes battle has been a central theme in this year’s Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, reflecting the enduring appeal of this iconic cricketing rivalry. The Almanack’s Editor has noted that England’s aggressive “Bazball” approach to the series has already heightened anticipation for the upcoming Test series against the West Indies.

As the world of cricket eagerly awaits the next chapter in the Ashes saga, the Wisden Class of 2024 stands tall as a testament to the exceptional talent and achievements that have defined the sport’s landscape over the past year.

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