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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 April, 2005, 07:22 GMT 08:22 UK
Wisden tribute to England stars
Wisden's cricketers of the year

All five of cricket bible Wisden's cricketers of the year are English, for the first time in 45 years.

Ashley Giles, Steve Harmison, Robert Key, Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick have received the honour.

The awards recognise that England won all seven of their home Tests in 2004, against New Zealand and West Indies.

However, Australia's Shane Warne was named the leading cricketer in the world after a dramatic return from a 12-month ban for failing a drugs test.

Since his return in March 2004, leg-spinner Warne has taken 92 wickets in 16 Tests at an average of 24.50.

This time last year I was in a bad place - I was doubting my own ability and lots of other people were doubting my ability
Ashley Giles

The cricketer of the year award normally goes to players for their "influence on the previous English season" and a player can only gain the accolade once.

"It's a reflection of the enhanced status of England in world cricket," Wisden editor Matthew Engel told BBC Radio Five Live.

"If you look through last season there was no question these were the people who influenced the game.

"There was no one from the touring teams or overseas players to match them."

Left-armer Giles considered quitting Test cricket early last year and admitted suffering depression.

But he clinched the Wisden award after bouncing back with to become the leading bowler in the 4-0 whitewash of West Indies with 22 wickets.

"It's been quite an extraordinary year for me," he told Five Live.

"This time last year I was in a bad place - I was doubting my own ability and lots of other people were doubting my ability - but I've come a long way."


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: England spin-bowler Ashley Giles




SEE ALSO
Giles silences critics - for now
27 Jul 04 |  England
Harmison comes of age
14 Mar 04 |  England
New star finds Key to success
23 Jul 04 |  England
Strauss adds substance to style
25 Jan 05 |  England
Lefties show right stuff
28 Dec 04 |  Cricket


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