Cook and Bresnan earn Wisden honour
England duo Alastair Cook and Tim Bresnan are among the five Cricketers of the Year in this year’s Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack.
They are joined by Glen Chapple, Alan Richardson and Kumar Sangakkara as the quintet to have made the greatest impact during the 2011 English season without having previously won the award.
Sri Lanka batsman Sangakkara has also become the first man to be named simultaneously as Wisden’s Leading Cricketer in the World and one of its five Cricketers of the Year.
Cook followed his prolific tally of 766 Ashes runs with more consistent run-making in Tests, notably a career-best 294 against India at Edgbaston, and one-day internationals.
Having inherited the ODI captaincy from Andrew Strauss, Cook led by example in series victories over Sri Lanka and India.
Bresnan remained a reliable England performer in all formats. He played three Tests against India and helped to maintain his remarkable record of winning every one he has competed in.
Aged 37, Chapple captained Lancashire to their first outright County Championship title in 77 years. The seamer took 55 wickets and hit 365 runs.
Richardson’s 73 championship wickets played a pivotal role in keeping Worcestershire in the top flight. The seamer, 36 by the end of the campaign, finished as Division One’s leading wicket-taker.
Sangakkara’s stubborn century at the Ageas Bowl held England to a 1-0 win in the three-Test series and the left-hander also scored consistently in the limited-overs internationals.
A delighted Bresnan said: “It is a massive honour to become the 43rd Yorkshire player to be named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
“It's a very select membership and I'm over the moon to receive such a prestigious honour. To be included alongside the four other players this year and the great names of the past is very special indeed.”
Bresnan's Roses rival Chapple also expressed his joy at being honoured.
“Obviously it's a great honour and something usually reserved for international cricketers. I'm really pleased,” he said.
“It's a testament to how the lads have played as a team. My performances on their own wouldn't have won me this award, so I put it down to a great team effort this last year.”
The five winners each receive an inscribed leather-bound edition of the Almanack and Chapple quipped: “That'll be great - I'll have a bookcase built.”
Richardson, who joined Worcestershire for the 2010 season and is their 16th player to be a Cricketer of the Year, said: "To be recognised alongside world-class cricketers such as Alastair Cook, Tim Bresnan, Glen Chapple and Kumar Sangakkara is a real honour, not to mention the 15 previous Worcestershire players.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my cricket over the last two seasons and hope to carry on performing at my best for Worcestershire for as long as I can."
Kent and England Under-19 batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond has been selected as the Young Wisden Schools Cricketer of the Year.