ESPNcricinfo Awards 2013 March 13, 2014

Tendulkar, Warne, Kallis in line to be voted cricketer of the generation

ESPNcricinfo staff
Elite 50-member jury to pick player of the last two decades

Sachin Tendulkar, Shane Warne and Jacques Kallis, the most successful batsman, bowler and allrounder respectively of the recent past, are the leading contenders for ESPNcricinfo's Cricketer of the Generation award. The award, to be presented on March 14, will honour the most outstanding cricketer between the years 1993 and 2013, and will cap ESPNcricinfo's 20th anniversary celebrations.

Muttiah Muralitharan and Brian Lara also received nominations from a 50-member jury, comprising leading cricketers, cricket writers and commentators, but didn't make the cut for a place in the final three.

Last November, Tendulkar ended a storied 24-year-career during which he set many of the most coveted batting records, including those for most Test runs and Test hundreds, and for most ODI runs and ODI hundreds. A complete batsman with no apparent weaknesses, he was the first to score a hundred international centuries, a mark that may never be broken. He is also arguably the biggest icon the game has ever known.

Warne was another cricketer adored by the crowds, both for his charisma and his flamboyant bowling. He made legspin fashionable again, mixing a garguantan legbreak with an array of straighter deliveries, and landing them all with unprecedented accuracy. He was the first bowler to 700 Test wickets, was Man-of-the-Match in the semi-final and final of the 1999 World Cup, and his delivery to bamboozle Mike Gatting in 1993 is perhaps the most famous one in the game's history.

Kallis is a lower-profile performer than the other two candidates for the award, but he was without doubt the outstanding allrounder of his generation, and prompted comparisons with the greatest allrounder of them all, Garry Sobers. As a batsman alone, his record bears comparison with the very best - over 10,000 runs each in Tests and ODIs. In addition, he took 577 international wickets with his pace bowling, besides being among the safest slip fielders.

The winner will be announced on March 14 in Mumbai at ESPNcricinfo's annual awards, now in their seventh year. The awards recognise the best individual batting and bowling performances in cricket over 2013. Previous winners include Tendulkar, Shahid Afridi, Virender Sehwag, Dale Steyn, Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga.

"The 20 years of ESPNcricinfo's existence have coincided with one of the great periods in cricket," editor-in-chief Sambit Bal said. "The '90s would count among the most competitive eras in the history of the game - both in terms of the contest between bat and ball, and the overall standard of teams. So it seemed right for us to wind up our 20th anniversary celebrations by honouring the most outstanding cricketer of this generation."

ESPNcricinfo's 20th anniversary celebrations also included a series of summits with former greats such as Rahul Dravid, Steve Waugh and Ian Chappell to discuss the game's big issues.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tejas on March 16, 2014, 6:07 GMT

    Why Sachin is great because he has improved the game's status in India than any other country. When we were kids, we never wanted to be Kallis or Warne, We wanted to be Sachin, even no other Indian cricketer. This is magic of Sachin. I know by potential Kallis is way better complete cricketer than sachin. I dont feel Warne stand any near to these two. Bradman is cricketer of last century

  • Dummy4 on March 16, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    Of the three nominated, Jacques Kallis - because he did it with both bat and ball - should have been the winner. But with a list of judges that includes the likes of Ed Cowan (???), Daryl Cullinan, Mark Butcher, Ed Smith and Heath Streak, the right outcome was always going to be unlikely.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2014, 15:26 GMT

    Seriously, if it was about the Batsman of the generation, then I would definitely consider Sachin to hold this award. But as far as Cricketer of the generation is concerned; how could you miss Mr. Kallis? The one who have the second most test hundreds. The man who himself is a cricket field whether it's about batting, bowling or fielding? He was the man to hold the award for cricketer of the generation. He has everything to be a cricketer, he wasn't just a batsman, he was an all-rounder or I would say Cricketer of the Cricket!

  • anthony on March 15, 2014, 14:31 GMT

    It is still a proven fact that no one can ever make 400* or 501* like Lara did. Yes tendulkar deserved the award, but you cannot criticise other legends: Ponting (AUS), Bradman (AUS), Murali (SL), Warne (AUS),Jayasuriya (SL), Marshall (WI), Ambrose (WI), Kallis (SA), Fleming (NZ), Flintoff (ENG), and Dravid (IND). Cricket is not about winning or losing but its the passion and desire for the game which is what all of the legends had. Everyone has their ups and downs because no one is perfect so lets just leave this matter alone and think as smart people to ignore all arguments and celebrate the cricketer of the generation of the year for now , congrats to Sachin Tendulkar and all other nominees.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    Cricket-fan you make me laugh. Did you really say Tendulkar is the greatest cricketer of all time. He scored 51 tons right. If Bradman played as many tests as Tendulkar he would have scored approx. 110 hundreds. Tendulkar scored almost 16000 runs. Bradman would have scored around 60000 runs if he played 200 tests. What planet are you from?

  • Android on March 15, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    the jury includes the highest percentage of indians and indians by nature support their own.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2014, 7:12 GMT

    Sanath and Murali should be there on the list

  • K. on March 15, 2014, 4:23 GMT

    SACHIN TENDULKAR - Cricketer of the Century.

  • jagannath on March 15, 2014, 4:19 GMT

    Would be interesting to see how many votes each of the top contenders got. It would be even more interesting to see who voted for whom! The voting panel contains to many Indian names to have any credibility. The Indian cricket 'gravy train' provides too many people a livelihood. Not many critics, cricketers and commentators would dare express their true opinion.

  • Dummy4 on March 15, 2014, 3:15 GMT

    Ironically, as cricinfo reported 2 weeks ago, 'Retired South African allrounder Jacques Kallis would not rate Sachin Tendulkar as the best batsman he has played against but said the Indian legend has "tremendously" helped in taking the game forward by playing with the right spirit throughout his illustrious career. Asked who are his toughest opponents, Kallis said, "Seamer: Wasim Akram. He had the ability to swing the ball both ways. Spinner: Shane Warne. He controlled the game, he attacked, defended. Batsman: Brian Lara.' "