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Leading Cricketer Honor Goes to Australian Leg-Spinner

Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne has been named the leading cricketer in the world by the Wisden Cricketers' Almanac.

Warne claimed the award ahead of three English candidates - Andrew Flintoff, Andrew Strauss and Graham Thorpe - following his impressive return from a drugs ban to retain his place in Australia's imposing line-up. Last year, Australian captain Ricky Ponting won Wisden's inaugural top international player honor.

Australia's dominance over world cricket is reflected by 10 of its players being included in the Wisden 40, the almanac's listing of the world's leading players. England and India are next with six each included.

In the top players award, given since 1889 and based on influence in the English cricket season, five English players have been named for the first time in 45 years. Traditionally overseas players dominate the selections. But Wisdon recognized England's record-breaking run of eight successive Test victories by naming Ashley Giles, Steve Harmison, Robert Key, Andrew Strauss and Marcus Trescothick.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.