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England duo handed Wisden award

Ryan Sidebottom and Ian Bell
Sidebottom and Bell have been in fine form for England

England batsman Ian Bell and left-arm swing bowler Ryan Sidebottom have been named among Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year after their successes in 2007.

Ottis Gibson, who is now England's bowling coach, is also recognised after a superb county season at Durham.

West Indies batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul and India seamer Zaheer Khan are the other names on the list.

Meanwhile, South Africa batsman Jacques Kallis was named as the Leading Cricketer in the World.

Sidebottom told BBC Radio 5 Live: "It's an honour and a privilege.

"It's been a surreal 12 months and things have gone well but I'd like to carry on my England career for some time yet."

The Almanack's editor Scyld Berry told BBC Sport Sidebottom had gone from being out of the reckoning altogether to England's no. 1 bowler in less than a year.

"It's been a fantastic performance by him, and he's already halfway to becoming the first-left arm seamer to take 100 Test wickets for England.

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"Sidebottom used to bowl for Nottinghamshire at 80mph, but since he's come into the England side pace has been added and he's bowled a line and a length."

Bell, added Berry, was "on the cusp of greatness".

He said the Warwickshire player had clinched his place on the back of his strong performances in the NatWest Series win against India last summer.

Players can only be nominated once among the Five Cricketers of the Year during their careers, but the same restriction does not apply to the Leading Cricketer, an honour which was only introduced in 2004.


see also
Flintoff hailed as world's best
11 Apr 06 |  England


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