DALE Steyn has joined an exclusive club by being named leading cricketer in the world for last year in the 2014 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, which was published yesterday.
Jacques Kallis, who earned the same award for his exploits in 2007, is the only other South African to be honoured in this way.
Steyn is the 11th winner of the award, which was inaugurated in the yearbook in 2004.
The first recipient was Australian Ricky Ponting, while India’s Virender Sehwag is the only player to have won it twice, in 2008 and 2009.
Last year, Steyn took 51 wickets in nine tests at an average of 17.66 and claimed 27 at 15.85 in 13 one-day internationals.
“Most remarkable, perhaps, for a man of his pace, was his meanness: an economy-rate of 3.65 was comfortably the lowest among bowlers to have sent down 100 one-day international overs in 2013,” Wisden editor Lawrence Booth wrote in Steyn’s citation. “Fast, penetrative and parsimonious – it was some combination.
“He shows no signs of slowing down or losing his enthusiasm. ‘I enjoy taking wickets more than most people can understand,’ he says. ‘I am addicted to that feeling. I live in the moment, but I hope there are many more years of it to come’.”
Steyn was a Wisden cricketer of the year in last year’s edition. This year, the players recognised in this way are England captain Charlotte Edwards – only the second woman on a list started in 1889 – Shikhar Dhawan of India, Australians Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers, and England’s Joe Root.
A focus of this year’s Wisden is the hostile takeover of the international game by the big three, India, England and Australia.
“Divide and rule at the ICC: The great carve-up of world cricket,” is the headline on an essay by notable Australian cricket writer Gideon Haigh.
– Telford Vice