Shakib wins Wisden award

LONDON: Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has outshone Sachin Tendulkar, Andrew Flintoff and Jacques Kallis to be named as The Wisden Cricketer magazine’s Test Player of the Year for 2009.

Shakib topped a performance table compiled by the magazine’s correspondents at Tests played between September 2008 and the end of August 2009. In the eight Tests Shakib played in that period, he took 45 wickets at 23 with his left-arm spin, including five five-wicket hauls, and scored 498 runs at an average of 35.57.

India’s Gautam Gambhir was ranked second with South Africa’s Graeme Smith claiming third place, ahead of Tendulkar and Kallis, who tied for fourth place. “I guess I owe my performance to keeping things simple,” Shakib said. “I don’t lose sleep over disappointments and rather look ahead to seize the next opportunity. I have been a performer and I work hard at my game to become the best cricketer I can be.”

John Stern, editor of the magazine, added: “I’m sure this achievement will be a surprise to many followers of the game but it represents an outstanding 12 months for Shakib, especially in the context of him playing for an international side that is still finding its feet.” Shakib, 22, has been described as the best player to come out of his country since it achieved Test status in 2000. And he is confident his generation can make Bangladesh a real threat to the leading nations.