Yet another accolade comes the way of Stuart Broad as he is retrospectively awarded the Wisden Trophy for his never-to-be-forgotten exploits against Australia in 2015 – can it really be nine years ago?

In the words of the 2024 Wisden Almanac, “His 8-15 demolished Australia for 60 in 18.3 overs, the shortest completed opening Test innings.”

The editorial team at Wisden have been back through the records and retrospectively awarded the Trophy to players from the past for individual performances in every test year.  Last year they looked at performances between 1877 and 1939 and in the edition just out have reviewed all Test performances from 1946 to 2022 (Jonny Bairstow won it 2023). 

The impetus to do this came because they had a cup without a recipient now that the Wisden Trophy, which had been competed for between England and the West Indies, was replaced by the Richards-Botham Trophy (both of whom crop up – not exactly a revelation – in this second tranche of ‘hindsight’ awards).

If the award for Broad’s feat was predictable, so too would be the appearance on the list of Nottinghamshire’s two cricketing knights.

Richard Hadlee’s one award (which seems scant reward for such a stellar career) comes for his performance against Australia in Brisbane in 1985 when he “Took 9-52 (and caught the tenth) and 6-71 and hit 54 in NZ’s first Test win in Australia.”

Garry Sobers gets the Trophy twice (unlike Wisden Cricketers of the Year, this award can be made multiple times) for 1962 when, for West Indies v India at Kingston, “After scoring 104 and 50, [he] completed a series whitewash with 5-63”; six years later, “In a gallant attempt to square the series, scored 152 and 95no, and collected six wickets” against England at Georgetown.

That his record 365 is not among the garlanded performances is because Wisden elected to give the 1958 award to Betty Wilson of Australia who took 7-7 and 4-9 either side of scoring 100 in a Test against England played in Melbourne but at a ground in St Kilda rather than at the MCG.

Wilson is one of three women cricketers thus awarded, including Nottinghamshire’s own Enid Bakewell – still going strong – who wins for a spectacular all-round performance in 1969 when against New Zealand at Christchurch she “Scored 114 and 66no, and took 3-68 and 5-56, as England’s women went 1-0 up”.

Four players whose stay at Trent Bridge was brief are also among the Wisden winners. Younis Kahn of Pakistan, who played eight games for Notts in 2005, wins for a powerful performance in that same year when he “Made 267 – putting on 324 with Inzamam-ul-Haq – and 84no as Pakistan levelled the series.”

Ravi Ashwin was nominated for 2011 when for India v West Indies at Mumbai, he made 103 and took nine wickets in a match that ended with the scores level when he was run out going for victory. Ashwin played five matches for Notts in 2019.

His Wisden Trophy was followed the following year by another short stay overseas star, Hashim Amla, whose “silky 311no in South Africa’s first win in 14 attempts in south London” at The Oval in 2012 was deemed that year’s Test highlight. In his stay at Trent Bridge, Amla played five First-Class and three List-A games.

That was slightly more than Kraigg Brathwaite who gets the Wisden ‘nod’ in 2016 when he became “The first Test opener to remain unbeaten in both innings, with 142no and 60no” in a win against Pakistan at Sharjah.  He appeared for Notts in just four fixtures.

Trent Bridge is not only remembered in the 1946-2022 lists for the players who graced the ground but also as the venue for three other award-worthy performances.

Dudley Nourse of South Africa overcame a broken thumb to set up a Test win against England in 1951, making 208 to steer his side home.

Two years later, Alec Bedser did his best to bowl England to victory in a rain-affected drawn Ashes Test, taking 7-55 and 7-44.

One of the most stylish batters of his or any other era, South Africa’s Graeme Pollock was named Wisden Trophy winner of 1965; he came in with his side struggling at 16-2 and hit a masterful 125 of the next 162 and added 59 in the second innings in the Test series’ only result. (South Africa won by 94 runs); it’s an innings still fondly remembered by the Trent Bridge faithful who were there.

Just to bring the list right up-to-date, the 2023 award goes to Travis Head of Australia who “Took control of the World Test Championship final with a pulsating 163 off 174 balls” at The Oval to ensure victory over India.

The full list and citations can be found here.

April 2024