Root and Edwards on Wisden list
8:37am Wednesday 9th April 2014 in © Press Association 2014
Joe Root is one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year, alongside England women's captain Charlotte Edwards.
Root and Edwards are joined by two of Australia's plucky 2013 Ashes losers turned landslide 2013/14 winners Ryan Harris and Chris Rogers, and destructive India opener Shikhar Dhawan, in an edition which identifies South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn as its Leading Cricketer in the World.
Root's award comes little more than 16 months after his international debut and follows not just an outstanding Ashes summer for him and England but a winter in which neither player nor team excelled in the slightest on the way to a 5-0 whitewash down under.
The established prime criterion for nominations is impact on the preceding English summer rather than any subsequent events.
For Edwards, only the second woman to win the prestigious award after her compatriot Claire Taylor five years ago, back-to-back Ashes victories home and away in the space of six months have provided a compelling case on all counts.
In its press testimony for Root's inclusion, Wisden - published today, Wednesday April 9 - restricts itself, in keeping with tradition, to the young Yorkshireman's deeds last summer.
"Two memorable innings helped Joe Root become the leading English batsman in the national averages," the almanack stated.
"He was the first Yorkshire player to make his maiden Test century at Headingley when he took 104 off New Zealand in May, and he then became the youngest England batsman to score an Ashes hundred at Lord's - with 180 in July."
Wisden 2014 has many other meaty topics to digest, and predictably does not flinch from forceful comment about the future of the International Cricket Council and the global influence of the Board of Control for Cricket in India following this winter's "takeover [of the world governing body] by their most powerful members".
England's "worst Ashes result in [their] 137-year Test history", and its seismic aftermath, is also dissected - while the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar accords the great Indian batsman pride of place on the front cover as well as several of the 1,584 pages inside.
Wisden demonstrates too its readiness to break new ground, as appropriate, and for the first time includes a 27-strong list of players who "have served or are serving bans for corruption offences".
Editor Lawrence Booth explains Wisden is bound to incorporate comprehensive numerical records, even when some of the matches or individual performances are questionable, adding: "[This] is the simplest way of allowing readers to reach their own conclusions, without compromising the wider set of statistics: it takes skill to score runs off a no-ball, even if the no-ball is deliberate."
Edwards spoke of her pride at Wisden's recognition of her achievements.
"These kind of awards, I would not have dreamt of winning when I was starting my career when I was 16," she said.
"To think of all the players that have come before me who have won these awards, it makes me feel very proud."
England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive David Collier added his personal congratulations.
"Charlotte has been an integral part of the England Women's team for nearly two decades, and her outstanding achievements both as a captain and as a batsman mean she has earned the right to be recognised as one of this country's leading sportswomen," he said.
"She is also a fantastic ambassador for the wider women's game who plays a major role in inspiring more young women and girls to take up the game through her work for Chance to Shine.
"I'm sure everyone connected with women's cricket will want to join me in congratulating Charlotte on earning such a prestigious award."