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Wisden and MCC announce major new award

Posted: 15 February 2023

Wisden and MCC have commissioned a new trophy, awarded to the calendar year’s outstanding individual Test performance, by a man or a woman.

The elegant silver trophy, bearing the familiar engraving by Eric Ravilious, follows on from the original Wisden Trophy, which was awarded to the winners of the England–West Indies Test series from 1963 to 2020 and is now replaced by the Richards–Botham Trophy. Wisden Trophies old and new will be kept in the MCC Museum at Lord’s.

Lawrence Booth, the editor of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, said: “When the old trophy was taken out of action by the ECB and Cricket West Indies, we decided to commission a new one – with a different purpose.

“Test cricket remains close to the heart not just of the Almanack, but of millions of fans, and the new Wisden Trophy gives us the chance to celebrate the oldest and most fascinating of the international formats. We hope this annual award becomes a prize every Test cricketer wants to win, and we’re grateful to MCC for their support.”

The series starting tonight in Mount Maunganui will give England and New Zealand’s male players the chance to stake an early claim for next year’s award.

Leading contenders to win the new Wisden Trophy, based on performances in 2022, include England’s Jonny Bairstow, Harry Brook and Nat Sciver-Brunt, India’s Ravindra Jadeja, Sri Lanka’s Prabath Jayasuriya, and Australia’s Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne.

The first winner will be announced on Tuesday 18 April, along with retrospective winners from 1877, the birth of Test cricket, to 1939. Post-war winners will be named next year.

MCC’s Director of Cricket & Operations, Jamie Cox said: “MCC is always pleased to promote excellence in Test match cricket and we are delighted to partner with a name as synonymous with Test cricket as Wisden in presenting this award.”  

The 2023 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, the 160th edition of the world’s most famous sports book, is published on Thursday 20 April.