WORCESTERSHIRE seam bowler Alan Richardson has been selected as one of the Five Cricketers of the Year in the 2012 edition of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, published tomorrow.

Also named alongside Richardson are England’s Alastair Cook and Tim Bresnan, Lancashire’s Championship-winning captain Glen Chapple and Sri Lankan star Kumar Sangakkara.

The Five Cricketers of the Year are chosen by the editor of Wisden, and represent a tradition that dates back to 1889, making this the oldest individual award in cricket.

Excellence in, or influence on, the previous English summer are the major criteria for inclusion as a Cricketer of the Year. No one can be chosen more than once.

Wisden editor Lawrence Booth said: “Alan Richardson, the definitive unsung hero, almost singlehandedly saved Worcestershire from relegation, taking 73 Division One wickets with his relentless fast-medium and bowling more overs than anyone in the country bar Monty Panesar.”

Richardson, 36, is the 16th Worcestershire player to be a Cricketer of the Year.

He is profiled in the 149th edition of the Almanack by George Dobell who writes: “Richardson is an unlikely Cricketer of the Year. He is not blessed with great pace (he’s consistently timed at around 83mph), he doesn’t swing the ball prodigiously and he rarely uses the bouncer, yorker or slower ball.

"He has an angular, inefficient action – a windmill, he calls it – that leaves biomechanists wincing. But he does hit the seam. He does generate steep bounce from his high action abdhe does maintain a wonderfully nagging line and length.

"Crucially, by 2011, he had learned to move the ball both ways off the seam.”