‘Wisden Five are quirky but distinctive’, editor responds to Sunil Gavaskar
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has come hard on Wisden’s policy of naming the best Five Cricketers of the Year only if they have performed well on English soil.
Wisden, which is considered to be the Bible of Cricket, in its latest edition didn’t include India’s Rohit Sharma in the list.
“A player could get thousands of runs and hundreds of wickets but if that has not happened in England then he still won’t be in the list of five since only performances in England are taken into account. Since that has been the case for so long, why should anyone even give the list and the publication any importance since it rates only what happens in England,” Gavaskar has said in his popular fortnightly column.
Wisden editor Lawrence Booth, however, has defended the publication’s policy of naming the cricketers in its annual Almanac.
“It (the policy) wasn’t laid down by the owners. It’s a tradition. There are plenty of awards which honour the best players in a given year. The Wisden Five are quirky but distinctive, and that is part of their charm,”
the Wisden editor Lawrance Booth, speaking exclusively over telephone from London, said.
“Most people understand that we are not necessarily choosing the five best of the previous summer. It’s a hall of fame, and players are invited to join it once in their careers. If we became like all the other awards, we would lose the distinctiveness that makes Wisden special.”
“We have an award – the Leading Cricketer in the World – which reflects the whole year. The Five Cricketers is a tradition that dates back to 1889,” Booth added further.
“Most people understand how it works. People are free to ignore it or enjoy it as they wish,” he signed off.