England World Cup winner Jofra Archer among Wisden’s five cricketers of the year
The honour comes on the back of his phenomenal entry into international cricket, which involved him helping England win the World Cup at Lord’s last July.
In addition, West Indian Andre Russell - one of the Southern Brave’s two £125,000 marquee picks for The Hundred- has been named international T20 cricketer of the year.
Wisden editor Lawrence Booth says: ‘Jofra Archer had an unprecedented impact in his first summer as an international cricketer.
‘He showed astonishing poise to bowl the super over that delivered England the World Cup, then produced some of the quickest and most memorable spells in recent Ashes history, knocking over Steve Smith at Lord’s, and finishing the series with 22 wickets at just 20 apiece.’
Pat Cummins, Simon Harmer, Marnus Labuschagne and Ellyse Perry are the other cricketers of the year, chosen by the editor of Wisden in 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.
Ben Stokes is Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World – the first Englishman since Andrew Flintoff in 2005. He ends a hat-trick of wins for Virat Kohli.
Regarding Russell, Wisden said he ‘redefined the art of the T20 chase, making the impossible look routine on an alarmingly regular basis.
‘His batting in the IPL for Kolkata Knight Riders verged on the miraculous: 52 sixes in 13 innings, and a strike-rate of 204.’
Russell lashed 560 IPL runs in 2019 at an average of 56.66.
He thrashed 80 off just 40 balls as Kolkata rattled up the highest score of the tournament - 232-2 against Mumbai.
Against Kolkata blitzed 65 off 25 balls with nine sixes before being run out, and in the return game against the same team he struck 48 off 17 balls.
His most eye-catching innings, though, came against Royal Challengers Bangalore when he hit an unbeaten 48 off just 13 balls - including seven sixes - as his side chased over 200 to win.
Whether south coast cricket fans will be able to watch Archer and Russell in action for the Southern Brave at Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl this summer remains to be seen.
In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the English county cricket calendar is going to have to be redrawn.
If there is any cricket to be played, the T20 Blast will take priority - meaning The Hundred could be postponed until 2021.
One of the Southern Brave’s major signings has already pulled out. Australian David Warner, like Russell, was a £125,000 pick but he withdrew last month citing ‘personal and family reasons.’
His international colleague Marcus Stoinis has been mentioned as a possible replacement if the tournament does take place.