Spinner Simon Harmer was named among five cricketers of the year in the 2020 edition of the famed Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack this week.
Harmer played five Tests for the Proteas in 2015 before pursuing a career on a Kolpak contract with Essex in English county cricket. Those five Tests brought 20 wickets against the West Indies, Bangladesh and India at an average of under 30 each.
‘This award is something I’m very proud of, but obviously not something you set out at the start of the season to win. It’s nice to get this recognition at the end of the season and it’s something I am pretty proud of,’ he told ESPNcricinfo.
‘If someone tells me that the wickets are green in April, when teams really bowl a lot of spin, I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of proving that wrong. I’ve had to prove people wrong throughout my career.’
The 31-year-old Harmer’s 83 were the most wickets in the 2019 County Championship Division One. He also captained Essex to the T20 Blast title, starring with bat and ball in the final against Worcestershire.
‘It was pretty special to lead the team and win the T20 trophy, which they had never won before. There were some pretty special performances from our senior players. Guys like Ravi Bopara, Ryan ten Doeschate and Tom Westley. Aaon Beard was good and Adam Zampa was instrumental for us,’ he added.
‘At the end of my career, when I look back, as long as I was the best version of Simon Harmer I could have been, that’s the most important thing for me.’
Australia’s Pat Cummins, England’s Jofra Archer and Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne and Ellyse Perry accompanied Harmer as the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack five cricketers of the year.
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