London: The 148th edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, launched today, reflects on a year of dramatic contrasts for the game, from the soul-searching that accompanied the Pakistan spot-fixing scandal at Lord's, to the near-perfection of England's Ashes campaign in Australia. But between those extremes, one of the game's most constant presences is recognised for attaining new heights of brilliance.
In 2010, Sachin Tendulkar enjoyed a year that even by his own exalted standards was phenomenal. He hit over 1,500 Test runs and seven Test hundreds, including an unparalleled 50th. Tendulkar also became the first to hit a one-day international double-hundred. Wisden acknowledges his greatness by naming him as the Leading Cricketer in the World for 2010.
It's the first time Tendulkar has won the award since it started in 2004, although Wisden 2007 identified him as the player who would have won such an award for 1998 - had it been devised then. Ramachandra Guha traces the three phases of Tendulkar's career, and reveals that he is held in such esteem by the Australians that they do not sledge him; and by his team-mates so that the Indian dressing-room, once riven by turf wars and petty jealousies, is now calm.