Cricket South Africa has lauded fast bowler Dale Steyn on being named the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2014 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack. (Getty Images)
Cricket South Africa has lauded fast bowler Dale Steyn on being named the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2014 edition of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack, which was published on Wednesday.
"South African fast bowler Dale Steyn is Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World for 2013, a year in which he took 51 Test wickets in only nine games at an average of 17," the citation read.
"Steyn was scarcely less lethal in ODIs, claiming 27 at under 16. Most remarkable, perhaps, for a man of his pace, was his meanness: an economy rate of 3.65 was comfortably the lowest among bowlers to have sent down 100 ODI overs in 2013.
"Fast, penetrative and parsimonious; it was some combination. He shows no signs of slowing down or losing his enthusiasm," Wisden Editor Lawrence Booth said.
Steyn is the second South African to be selected as Wisden's Leading Cricketer in the World, after Jacques Kallis in 2007. In 2013, he was selected as one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year.
CSA Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said entire country should be proud of Steyn's achievement.
"The humility (Steyn) shows is perfect for the world's youth. This is a singular and great honour for Dale who has deservedly won just about every accolade available to him in the sport of cricket," Lorgat said.
"The fact that Jacques Kallis is the only other South African to have received this prestigious recognition speaks volumes for Steyn's international standing. Other than for a brief period earlier this year when he was overtaken by his colleague, Vernon Philander, he has been the world's leading Test match bowler for the past five years and has been an obvious choice in the ICC select Test XI," Lorgat added.
Lorgat said Steyn's selection in the two limited overs formats for the Proteas has been constrained by his large work load, but he showed during the recent ICC World Twenty20 that he is invaluable to the Proteas in these formats as well.
"His epic last over against New Zealand was the making of legends," Lorgat said.