South Africa dominate the Wisden ‘Cricketers of the Year’ list for 2012 with three players a feat accomplished for the third time in the country’s 150-year history.
The three Proteas named are Hashim Amla,Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn. The others named in Wisden’s Five are West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels and South African-born England opening batsman Nicholas Compton.
Previous Wisden triples from South Africa were Graeme and Peter Pollock and Colin Bland in 1966 and Dale Benkenstein,Mark Boucher and Neil McKenzie in 2009.
“Hashim Amla was the batting sensation of the summer,gracefully compiling South Africa’s first Test triple-century,and top-scoring in eight international innings out of 11,” said Wisden Editor Lawrence Booth.
“The only surprise about the selection of Jacques Kallis was that he hadn’t been chosen earlier. At The Oval,he made 182 and balanced South Africa’s attack superbly. His all-round excellence was a crucial difference between the sides.
“Dale Steyn cemented his status as the world’s most frightening fast bowler,blowing England away on the final afternoon at The Oval,then undermining them in the Third Test at Lord’s.” Cricket South Africa (CSA),lauded the three Proteas for their achievement.
“What a wonderful way for a South African celebration ofthe 150th edition of this famous publication known affectionately as the ‘cricketer’s bible’,” said CSA Acting
CEO Naasei Appiah.
“This recognition is richly deserved as has been clearly outlined by Editor Lawrence Booth in his comments. This is a proudly South African moment that all South Africans can enjoy.
“It has truly been a phenomenal year for our Proteas and they have been and will continue to be an inspiration to the nation.”
Graeme Smith,captain of the victorious 2012 squad that received the International Cricket Council Mace as world’s best Test team a fortnight ago,won the Wisden honour in 2004.