Moeen Ali, Gary Ballance, Adam Lyth, Jeetan Patel and Angelo Mathews are Wisden’s five Cricketers Of The Year, while Kumar Sangakkara was named Leading Cricketer In The World.
Worcestershire star Ali, prolific in county cricket in recent seasons, made the breakthrough to the England Test and one-day teams in 2014-15 and he is pictured on the front cover.
Ballance cemented his place in the England Test team with some fine performances last summer. The loss of Jonathan Trott to a stress-related illness left a void at No 3 in the line-up, but Ballance filled it magnificently, scoring 590 runs in his first 10 innings.
He scored his maiden Test century against Sri Lanka at Lord’s, and followed it with two more against India. In the process, he came the just the third man – after Andrew Strauss and Jonathan Trott, to score centuries in their first two Lord’s Tests.
Lyth played a leading role in propelling Yorkshire to the Division One title, scoring 1489 runs at an average of 67.68. He was rewarded with his first call-up to the England Test squad for their tour of the West Indies.
Warwickshire spinner Patel was named the Professional Cricketers Association’s Most Valuable Player for the 2014 county season. He took 107 wickets in all competitions as the Bears finished second in the Championship, reached the Royal London Cup final and won the T20 Blast.
That makes him just the second player to regain that annual status.
Sangakkara, set to complete his international retirement when he plays his final Test this year, has raised even his own astonishing standards in a record-breaking run of form.
Wisden grants its global No 1 position for the previous year to Sangakkara – only India batsman Virender Sehwag has previously been named twice – after he made an all-time record 2,868 international runs in 2014, including a triple-century.
Sangakkara also had a significant impact on the last English season, with his first Test hundred at Lord’s.
Editor Lawrence Booth wrote: “Choosing [him] just felt natural. And his four consecutive hundreds at the World Cup confirmed we’d chosen the right man. We’ll miss him when he’s gone.”
Wisden broke new ground in 2015 by announcing its first Leading Woman Cricketer in the World – Australia‘s Meg Lanning.
Lanning, who at 21 became the youngest person ever to captain Australia, led her country to the World Twenty20 title and finished 2014 at the top of both the women’s Twenty20 and ODI batting rankings.