- Neil McKenzie
- Mark Boucher
- James Anderson
- Claire Taylor
- Dale Benkenstein
Numbers 1, 2, and 5 are saffas. 3 and 4 are English. My favourite of the lot is Claire Taylor. She's been an important part of England's cricket team over the past few years, and was a key player in the last Ashes series (England won). She's actually the first female to be present in the list. Ever.
Neil McKenzie and Mark Boucher received the award for their efforts against England in 2008. I remember that series, when the English started seeing stars in their efforts to get McKenzie's wicket. Unfortunately for them, Neil had morphed into an uglier Dravid and decided to become a wall. The good old days for McKenzie. It feels like so long ago.
Here's what Boucher had to say about the award:
"Like all young boys I used to read the Cricketers of the Year in Wisden every year and be awe-struck - I can't quite believe I'm there now. But I'm equally pleased to be alongside Neil McKenzie. Most people don't realise what a complete package he is, both on and off the field, and how much he contributed to our success in 2008. It's fantastic for him to be honoured in this way."
Neil McKenzie is a "complete package" both on and off the field. Interesting thoughts there, Boucher. Very interesting. Perhaps he was misquoted and it was actually supposed to read "Most people don't realise what a complete package he has." That would explain a lot of things like the closeness and hugs. Why do the South African cricketers always seem to be hugging/being in awkward positions?
Say what you will about bromance, but some things are just not normal.
Neil McKenzie has also said that "being a part of Wisden is a great honour" and has also stated that he just "needs to make a few adjustments and then make sure I get the weight of runs required". Does anyone else feel as though he's being quickly forgotten? Cricket moves fast, and once you're off the bandwagon, it can be difficult to get back on.
By the way, Jacques Kallis has never gotten this award. Too busy eating chicken pasta, I suppose.