December 11, 2023

Blackcaps duo named among iconic Wisden Almanack’s Cricketers of Year

Daryl Michell and Tom Blundell during the third test against England last year.

Blackcaps Tom Blundell and Daryl Mitchell have been named among Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year in the 2023 edition of the iconic almanack.

Blundell and Mitchell are joined by England’s Matthew Potts and Ben Foakes, and India women’s captain Harmanpreet Kaur.

England test captain Ben Stokes and Australian women’s captain Beth Mooney have been named as the leading cricketers in the world. 

Stokes receives the top honour for the third time in the past four years, after previous wins in 2020 and 2021.

Blundell and Mitchell become the 17th and 18th New Zealanders to make Wisden’s annual list, which is primarily based on performances in England during its home summer.

Last year, allrounder Mitchell stamped his arrival on the international stage with an outstanding test tour to England, scoring 538 runs, with an average of 107.

With innings of 108, 190, and 109, Mitchell became just the fifth NZ player to score centuries in three consecutive tests. He also joined Indian Rahul Dravid, Aussie Steve Smith and Pakistan’s Mohammad Yusuf as the only overseas batters to achieve the feat on English soil.

Meanwhile, Blundell scored 383 runs, including a century at Trent Bridge, 96 in the second test at Lord’s and 88 in the final match at Leeds.

Much of that damage was done in conjunction with one another, as Blundell and Mitchell averaged an incredible 120.66 when batting together. In total, the pair scored 724 runs together – the most runs ever scored by an NZ partnership in a test series.

The Blackcaps lost the series 3-0 in England’s first test outing under the new captain-and-coach pairing of Stokes and NZ great Brendon McCullum.

The last time two NZ players made the list was in 2016, when McCullum and Kane Williamson were named.

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