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Muttiah Muralitharan Named Test Cricket’s 21st Century MVP

CricViz analysis announces the Sri Lankan genius as the most valuable Test cricketer in the last 20 years.

In the latest edition of Wisden Cricket Monthly, CricViz announced a range of ‘MVP’ awards for players across formats in the 21st century.

Based on the exclusive Match Impact model, built using our vast ball-by-ball database, CricViz concluded that the most valuable Test cricketer of the 21st century was the mystery spinner Muttiah Muralitharan.

The model calculated that, on average, Muralitharan was worth 97.5 runs-per-match to Sri Lanka in the longest format.

“CricViz’s match impact model, which sheds new light on a player’s contribution, found Muttiah Muralitharan to be Test cricket’s most valuable player of the 21st century so far,” says Jo Harman, Wisden Cricket Monthly magazine editor. “With 573 wickets at an average of 21.01 since the turn of the century, raw numbers alone demonstrate Murali’s brilliance, but the CricViz model allows us to delve deeper, revealing his unrivalled impact on Test cricket over the last 20 years.”

In second place behind Muralitharan was Indian all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. A batting average of over 35 and a bowling average of under 25 marks the Indian out as a great, and his Match Impact of +97.3 makes him the highest ranking India player on the list, and only a notch behind the Sri Lankan great. Australian behemoth Steve Smith completed the podium, with an Match Impact of +91.7.

The only two Englishmen to make the top 30 were current skipper Joe Root (14th) and former off-spinner Graeme Swann (19th)

To read about Muralitharan’s achievements in greater detail, and to learn more about CricViz’s other MVP awards, buy a copy of the July edition of Wisden Cricket Monthly, available in print and digital formats.

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