After another week of international cricket that featured Test action from Bulawayo, Sharjah and Delhi it is time to choose this week’s Cricket World Player of the Week.
New Zealand’s Dan Vettori and Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara are the leading contenders for this week’s award, with other key performers during the past seven days including Kiwi seamer Doug Bracewell who took five for 85 against Zimbabwe; Shiv Chanderpaul who hit a century on the opening day of the first Test in Delhi; Younis Khan, Martin Guptill and Brendan Taylor who also made centuries for their respective teams; and seam bowlers Kyle Jarvis and Chanaka Welegedara who each took five-wicket hauls.
Vettori’s match haul of 71 runs and eight for 141 was enough to earn him man of the match in New Zealand’s thrilling Test win over Zimbabwe on Saturday, but it is not enough to give him this week’s Player of the Week award.
That honour goes to Kumar Sangakkara who hit 144 in the first innings of the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah, and followed it up with a second innings 51 to make him only the third Sri Lankan batsman to score 500 runs in a Test series. What makes it even more remarkable was that he did so in a losing cause, prompting Sri Lanka’s chairman of selectors, Duleep Mendis, to say, “Apart from Sangakkara the batting has been a complete let down. He has been brilliant and he alone is carrying the batting most of the time.”
The 34 year-old from Matale in the centre of Sri Lanka began his career way back in 1997 for the country’s Under-19 team and swiftly made his first-class debut for Nondescripts Cricket Club the following season. He made his full international debut in July 2000 against Pakistan, and followed that up with a Test debut against South Africa later that same month and has never really looked back since. Over the course of the past 11 years he has racked up 102 Test caps and 294 ODI caps for his country, as well as captaining them to the 2011 World Cup final. On top of this, he has become a respected voice on the game of cricket and was invited to deliver the annual MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture at Lord’s earlier this year.
© Cricket World 2011