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West Indies star lands Wisden accolade

STELLAR CAREER: Shai Hope

WEST INDIES ace Shai Hope has been named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year. The Five Cricketers of the Year are chosen by the editor of Wisden, and represent a tradition that dates back to 1889, making this the oldest individual award in cricket. Excellence in, or influence on, the previous English summer are the major criteria for inclusion as a Cricketer of the Year. No one can be chosen more than once.

Joining Hope on the elite list is Heather Knight, Jamie Porter, Natalie Sciver and Anya Shrubsole.

Barbados-born Hope produced one of the individual performances of last year. After West Indies had been thrashed in the first Test at Edgbaston, Hope made 147 and 118 not out to inspire them to a famous win in the second Test at Headingley.

He was the first player in 534 first-class matches to score two hundreds in a game there, instantly making him the West Indian wicket all opposition attacks craved most. His naming as one of the Wisden quintet is a tremendous accolade for one so young. The 24-year-old is destined for a stellar career and is seen as future Windies captain.


BIG HITTER: The Bajan batsman in action

Of his Headingley displays, the affable Hope modestly said: “Someone had to do it and I just put my hand up for the team. I feel elated. I made my way here (international cricket) and I believe in myself. We fought hard through the the game and we just had to execute with the bat. The aim is to kick on. Every time we step on to the fi eld we try to improve as a team and individually.

Windies legend, now Sky Sports commentator, Michael Holding was full of praise for Hope who had averaged just 18 in the longest format of the game prior to his heroics in Yorkshire. “He’s a very good player you could see that thoughout the Test match,” said the respected Jamaican. “I had no idea that he was that good a player. He’d never made serious runs in Test match cricket before. But just looking at him and the composure he has shown, even when things got tricky, he batted right through unperturbed.”

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