Sydney/London: Australian captain Michael Clarke has been named the 'cricketer of the year' for 2012 by the 'Bible of Cricket' Wisden.
Clarke joins former captain Ricky Ponting and former leg-spinner Shane Warne, who were given the accolades in 2003 and 2004 respectively in being honoured by Wisden, and becomes the third Australian to receive the honour.
The historic Wisden Cricketers' Almanack said in its 150th edition that the year 2012 had witnessed a complete development of the spectacular batting talent which began during Clarke's debut in Bangalore in 2004.
The Almanack further said that Clarke's batting prowess began with 329 not out against India, which was the biggest Test innings ever played at the Sydney Cricket Ground, adding that the skipper is just a hit away from the highest Test scores of 334 made by the legends Don Bradman and Mark Taylor.
Stating that he was honoured to be named as Wisden's leading cricketer in the world, Clarke said that given the and tradition of the Wisden Cricketers Almanac, he is humbled to receive the accolade, adding that he holds it in the highest regard.
Eight other cricketers have won the Wisden accolade including Warne and Ponting, with Indian opening batsman Virender Sehwag doing so twice.
England batsman Nick Compton was named as one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year, joining his grandfather Denis who earned the accolade in 1939, the report added.
Wisden also named South Africa's Hashim Amla, Jacques Kallis and Dale Steyn, Briton Nick Compton and West Indies' Marlon Samuels as its five Cricketers of the Year, an award specific to the English season and winnable only once.