Wisden Names Tom Blundell Cricketer of the Year

“The Five Cricketers of the Year represent a tradition that dates back in Wisden to 1889, making this the oldest individual award in cricket. In 2023, [Wellington-born] Tom Blundell, 32, was one of the five,” Marc Geenty reports for the ‘Bible of Cricket’.

“‘Tom Blundell’s kit might not have been the only baggage he carried to Lord’s for the First Test in June,” Geenty writes for the Almanac. “On his two previous visits – including the 2019 World Cup final – he had been twelfth man. And, having played 11 Tests in three and a half years, he then had to wait until the retirement of wicketkeeper BJ Watling, after the World Test Championship final in 2021, for a proper crack at New Zealand’s XI. Even then, he struck turbulence: in his first six innings back, Blundell totalled 34 runs, prompting a visit to his sports psychologist, Pete Sanford, ‘to figure out how I wanted to play, and what’s important to me’. The result was instant: a sparkling 96 against South Africa at Christchurch in February 2022, which gave him ‘great confidence leading into the English summer’.

“The Five Cricketers of the Year are picked by the editor, and the selection is based, primarily but not exclusively, on the players’ influence on the previous English season. No one can be chosen more than once.”

Original article by Mark Geenty, Wisden Almanac, May 11, 2023.

Tags: Tom Blundell  Wisden  

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