Gillespie lauds Bresnan after Wisden honour

First published in Yorkshire CCC News

Tim Bresnan has been hailed a "superstar" by Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie after being chosen as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year.

Bresnan, along with England team-mate Alastair Cook, Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, Lancashire skipper Glen Chapple and Worcestershire seamer Alan Richardson, have been honoured in the 2012 Almanack, which is published today.

The Five Cricketers of the Year are chosen by Wisden editor Lawrence Booth and represent a tradition that dates back to 1889, making it the oldest individual award in cricket.

Excellence in, or influence on, the previous English summer are the major criteria. No player can be chosen more than once.

Bresnan played a crucial role in last summer's 4-0 whitewash over India, taking 16 wickets and scoring 154 runs in three matches as England clinched the number one ranking in Test cricket.

Gillespie, himself honoured in 2002, said: "I first met Brez when I came here in 2006 as a player, and it didn't surprise me in the slightest that he started playing international cricket.

"For what he's done, I don't know how England can keep him out of the team. He's a superstar and a wonderful cricketer. He thoroughly deserves any accolade he gets.

"He's a wonderful team man, which I saw first hand as a player when I was last here. It's no surprise that the England team love having him there."

Not only are Bresnan's wickets and runs important to England, it seems his presence in the side has a positive effect on Andrew Strauss's outfit.

He has made 11 Test appearances for his country, and England have won them all.

Gillespie continued: "The award's a nice thing to hang your hat on I suppose. But, as a general rule, cricketers look at their team records more. I think Tim will rate the fact that he's played in 11 Test wins higher than any individual accolade.

"He's had 11 Test celebrations - and just one is brilliant, let alone eleven.

"I'm not disrespecting the award in any way. But you do look at team success first and foremost as a player because you play to win games of cricket."

Bresnan missed last night's Wisden dinner because he will marry his fiancee Hannah in the Maldives today.

But he said: "I'm over the moon to receive such a prestigious honour.

"To be included alongside the four other players this year, and the great names of the past, is very special."

Bresnan is due back in England next week, and will play in Yorkshire's County Championship matches against Kent at Canterbury and Leicestershire at Scarborough in preparation for the three-Test series against the West Indies, starting May 17.

Yorkshire face Leeds/Bradford University in a three-day first-class friendly at Headingley tomorrow.

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