Ponting Wisden's leading cricketer of the world

Published: Thursday, April 8, 2004, 0:02 [IST]
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LONDON (AFP):Australian Test captain Ricky Ponting was named as cricket bible Wisden's first Leading Cricketer in the World.

The 29-year-old successor to Steve Waugh as Australia's skipper was recognised for his prolific batting in 2003, during which he scored 1,503 runs at an average of 100.20.

He also became the first player since Don Bradman to score three double hundreds in a single year and led Australia's One-day side to victory in the World Cup in South Africa.

Ponting, named as Australia's player of the year in February, is the first recipient of the new award.

England's Andrew Flintoff, South Africa's Graeme Smith and Gary Kirsten, Australian Ian Harvey and Sussex captain Chris Adams were named as Wisden's five cricketers of the year, chosen on the basis of the players "influence on the English season".

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