Smriti Mandhana’s fantastic form in 2018 has been aptly rewarded as she bagged Wisden’s prestigious ‘The Leading Woman Cricketer in the World’ award.
2019 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanac, their 156th edition is published today. The Wisden introduced ‘The Leading Woman Cricketer in the World’ category only in 2015, with a view to select the best female cricketer from the previous calendar year based on their performances.
In 2018, Smriti Mandhana scored 1291 runs across limited-overs formats, including 13 half-centuries. She also participated in 2018 editions of Kia Super League and WBBL. Mandhana becomes the second successive Indian player to receive the award after Mithali Raj, who was declared the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World in 2018’s Almanac.
India bagged the double honour for the first time as the captain of the men’s team Virat Kohli was named as ‘Leading Cricketer in the World’ for the third successive time.
For her impressive form in 2018, England’s Tammy Beaumont was named in the Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year, the oldest individual award in the cricket. She becomes the only Woman cricketer to be awarded this year as Kohli, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler and Sam Curran become the other four awardees.
Beaumont becomes only the sixth female cricketer to be named in Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the year since the awards were introduced in 1989. Unlike the ‘Leading Cricketer’ award, cricketers can be named in Five Cricketers of the Year only once in their career.
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan becomes ‘The Leading T20 Player in the World’ for the second year in a row.
Full List of 2019 Wisden Cricket Almanack’s Awardees:
‘The Leading Cricketer in the World’ – Virat Kohli (India)
‘The Leading Woman Cricketer in the World’ – Smriti Mandhana (India)
‘Five Cricketers of the Year’ – Tammy Beaumont (England), Jos Buttler (England), Sam Curran (England), Rory Burns (Surrey’s Championship winning captain), Virat Kohli (India)
‘The Leading T20 Cricketer in the World’ – Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
‘Wisden Book of the Year’ – Steve Smith’s Men by Geoff Lemon