LONDON (Reuters) – Three members of England’s World Cup-winning women’s team featured in the Wisden Almanack’s prestigious “Five Cricketers of the Year” list in a reflection of the growing stature of the women’s game on Wednesday.
Anya Shrubsole became the first woman cricketer to feature on the cover of the “bible of cricket”, while team mates Heather Knight and Natalie Sciver also made the list.
“Absolutely honoured by this… hopefully the first of many to come #wisdenjacket,” 26-year-old Shrubsole tweeted.
Broadcasts of last year’s women’s World Cup were watched by a record-breaking 182 million viewers with Knight’s England beating a Mithali Raj-led India by nine runs in the July 23 final at Lord’s to claim a fourth title.
West Indies batsman Shai Hope, who scored a hundred in each innings of a Headingley test in August, and Essex seamer Jamie Porter, who helped the side win a first Country Championship since 1992, completed the quintet.
India captain Virat Kohli was named the “Leading Cricketer in the World” for a second successive year, while Raj won the same honour in the women’s category.
Teenage Afghan spinner Rashid Khan bagged the inaugural “Leading Twenty20 Player of the Year” honour.
Recipients of the “Five Cricketers of the Year” award are generally only nominated once for the honour in their career.
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Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; Editing by John O’Brien