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Flintoff is Wisden cricketer of the year
April 11, 2006 16:23 IST
England all-rounder Andrew "Freddie" Flintoff has been named 2005's top cricketer in the 143rd edition of Wisden, which will be published on Wednesday.
Flintoff's superb display in helping England to their Ashes victory over Australia last year had already earned him the BBC Sports Personality of the Year and an MBE.
The award was instituted in 2003 and was previously won by Australian duo Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne -- with the leg spinner the only man to push Flintoff for the 2005 title.
"We took soundings from writers and commentators in all the cricketing countries and there were only two people in it, Flintoff and Warne," Wisden editor Matthew Engel said in a statement.
"Our cover picture sums up the year as we saw it. Flintoff and Warne are shown embracing after the Ashes series -- but the one is just a fraction above the other. We felt in the end that 2005 was the year when Freddie touched greatness."
Flintoff, who was recently named man of the series after captaining England to a 1-1 Test draw in India, said: "It's very humbling and obviously a great honour.
"The last 12 months have been fantastic for English cricket and I'm looking forward to building on that success."
England trio Matthew Hoggard, Simon Jones and Kevin Pietersen and Australia's Brett Lee and Ponting were listed as Wisden's five cricketers of the year -- Flintoff and Warne were ineligible for that 117-year old accolade having been listed previously.
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