The Wisden Cricketers of the Year are cricketers selected for the honour by the annual publication Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, based primarily on their "influence on the previous English season". The award began in 1889 with the naming of "Six Great Bowlers of the Year", and continued with the naming of "Nine Great Batsmen of the Year" in 1890 and "Five Great Wicket-Keepers" in 1891.
Since 1897, with a few notable exceptions, the annual award has recognised five players of the year. No players were named in 1916 or 1917, as the First World War prevented any first-class cricket being played in England, while in 1918 and 1919 the recipients were five schoolboy cricketers. From 1941 to 1946, the Second World War caused the same issue and no players were named. Three players have been sole recipients: W. G. Grace (1896), Plum Warner (1921) and Jack Hobbs (1926). The latter two selections are the only exceptions to the rule that a player may receive the award only once. Hobbs was first recognised in 1909, but was selected a second time in 1926 to honour his breaking W. G. Grace's record of 126 first-class hundreds; Warner was first honoured in 1904, but received a second award in 1921 for his last season in first-class cricket, when he led Middlesex to a County Championship win. John Wisden, cricketer and eponymous founder of the almanack, was featured in a special commemorative section in the Jubilee edition of the publication in 1913, 29 years posthumously.
From 2000 to 2003 the award was made based on players' impact on cricket worldwide rather than just the preceding season in England, but the decision was reversed in 2004 with the introduction of a separate Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World award.
The earliest surviving recipient of the award is Sonny Ramadhin (1951), which he became in August 2015 with the death of Arthur Morris. The longest that a recipient has lived after receiving the award is 77 years by Harry Calder (1918), who died in 1995. Calder, however, uniquely for a male recipient, played no first-class cricket. Among first-class players, the longest lived after receipt of the award is 74 years by Wilfred Rhodes (1899). Six women have been chosen: Claire Taylor (2009), Charlotte Edwards (2014), Heather Knight (2018), Natalie Sciver (2018), Anya Shrubsole (2018) and Tammy Beaumont (2019).
List of Cricketers of the Year
- Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World
- Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World
- Six Giants of the Wisden Century
- Wisden Australia's Cricketer of the Year
- Wisden Cricketers of the Century
- ICC Awards
- "Wisden tribute to England stars". BBC Sport. 6 April 2005. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- "Wisden – 1889". Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- "Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year". Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- Anthony Bradbury. "The first century, 1989 – Wisden's cricketers of the year". Cricinfo. Retrieved 17 April 2008.
- A. S. Dixon. "Cricketers of the Year". Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 April 2008. "Also I have left out of my reckoning John Wisden, founder of the Almanack, to whose memory the whole feature was devoted in the Jubilee issue of 1913—he died in 1884." As such, he is not a true Cricketer of the Year, but is included here for the sake of comprehensiveness.
- "20 things you never knew about Wisden". Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 April 2008.
- The 1889 award was subtitled Six Great Bowlers of the Year.
- The 1890 award was subtitled Nine Great Batsmen of the Year.
- The 1891 award was subtitled Five Great Wicket-Keepers.
- The 1892 award was subtitled Five Great Bowlers.
- The 1893 award was subtitled Five Batsmen of the Year.
- The 1894 award was subtitled Five All-Round Cricketers.
- The 1895 award was subtitled Five Young Batsmen of the Season.
- The 1897 award was subtitled Five Cricketers of the Season.
- The 1899 award was subtitled Five Cricketers of the Year.
- The 1900 award was subtitled Five Cricketers of the Season.
- The 1901 award was subtitled Mr R. E. Foster and Four Yorkshiremen.
- The 1909 award was subtitled Lord Hawke and Four Cricketers of the Year.
- The 1912 award was subtitled Five Members of the MCC's Team in Australia.
- The 1919 award was subtitled Five Public School Cricketers of the Year.
- The 1920 award was subtitled Five Batsmen of the Year.
- "Wisden – 1997". Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 April 2008. "The success of Sanath Jayasuriya in inspiring Sri Lanka to World Cup victory [i]n March 1996 also inspired a change of policy: he was chosen as one of the Five Cricketers of the Year even though he did not play in the English season."
- Awarded to a Pakistani player but not listed as a result of alleged match-fixing. "If [the player in question] were exonerated, then it would be possible to reconsider the position," explained [Scyld] Berry. "That's why I didn't pick anyone else instead. But as things stand, we don't feel we can choose him. It's all very sad."
- "Wisden honour for Dhawan, Edwards". Wisden India. 9 April 2014. Archived from the original on 12 April 2014. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Wisden online archive (includes copies of the Wisden Cricketers' Almanack essays on each Cricketer of the Year)
- Full List on Cricinfo