- Advertisement -Sunil Gavaskar has slammed Wisden for snubbing Indian opener Rohit Sharma from the list of Five Cricketers of The Year by the 2020 edition of the Wisden Almanack. No Indians were included in the list despite some really great performance in the year 2019. Jofra Archer, Pat Cummins, Ellyse Perry, Simon Harmer, and Marnus Labuschagne were the 5 fortunate players who found their name in the prestigious list. Meanwhile, Ben Stokes was named the leading cricketer of the year, ending Virat Kohli’s run of 3 successive years. Andre Russell was named the Leading T20 Cricketer in 2019.
Preference To performances In EnglandGavaskar said that the Wisden gives preference to performances in England while handing out its awards.
“Remember also that a player could get thousands of runs and hundreds of wickets but if that has not happened in England then he still won’t be in the list of five since only performances in England are taken into account. Since that has been the case for so long, why should anyone even give the list and the publication any importance since it rates only what happens in England.” Gavaskar
“Only The Second Best Get The Nod”The legendary batsman also said, “One may argue that Steve Smith was chosen as Cricketer of the Year in an earlier year and so does not qualify for his performances last year. This once again confirms that the second best or lower performances get the nod.”
Rohit Sharma In 2019Rohit Sharma had an incredible 2019. He was the top scorer in 2019. In 28 ODIs, Rohit scored 1490 runs at an outstanding average of 57.30. He grabbed the eyeballs more in the World Cup, which Gavaskar claims should have been given the priority over the Ashes. In the World Cup too, Rohit was the top scorer with 648 runs in just 9 matches, at an average of 81. He started with a century against South Africa and went on to add 4 more, to own the record of most centuries in a single World Cup.
What Ben Stokes Did To Earn The AwardAcross the calendar year, Stokes hit 821 Test runs at 45, including an Ashes hundred at Lord’s, and 719 in one-day internationals, at almost 60. Rivals dwarfed his 50-over tally, and scored at a faster lick: Stokes’s one-day strike-rate of 92 was the lowest of England’s established top six. However, it was 2 iconic innings- one in the World Cup final and other in the Ashes – that helped him to the award.
Cummins And LabuschagnePat Cummins finished second in Australia’s wicket-takers charts at the World Cup and was the leading wicket-taker in his country’s first successful Ashes defence in England since 2001. Meanwhile, Marnus Labuschagne scored 4 consecutive half-centuries after becoming Test cricket’s first concussion substitute, and also made 1,114 runs for Glamorgan in the County Championship. It may be debated that Archer deserved his place, after finishing the World Cup as top wicket taker and bowling the super over in the WC final but the above 2 cases highlight Gavaskar’s claims ‘cricket in England is given more priority’.
The Most Debated SelectionSimon Harmer completed the list of the 5 players despite playing no part in international games. That’s where the question arises- Is domestic cricket more important than World Cup? Though Harmer helped Essex to historic ‘modern double’ of the County Championship and T20 Blast titles – the former South Africa spinner was Essex’s leading wicket taker in both competitions, it was all on the English soil and not many fans across the world really care about it!
Laxman Also Unhappy With The ChoicesThe Little Master is not the only legend to be unhappy about the choice, VVS Laxman had also criticised the move. The former stylish batsman said, “I think anyone who follows the game of cricket will be surprised and shocked not to see his name in those five players’ list. Because yes, the Ashes is an important series, but the World Cup is bigger than Ashes.”
Rohit Sharma, Indian Fans UnmovedGavaskar claimed Rohit is not going to lose sleep over his exclusion as the Mumbai Indians skipper and the Indian fans are only concerned about winning games for the country and getting “those delightful thumps on the back and hair ruffled by teammates in appreciation of their effort”.
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