The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) today announced that Graeme Swann and Katherine Brunt have won the ECB Men’s and Women’s Cricketer of the Year Awards respectively, whilst 17-year old all-rounder Chris Edwards from Liverpool also received the England Disability Cricketer of the Year Award.
The Awards evening, which was held in the Long Room at Lord’s Cricket Ground, was hosted by the ECB and Brit Insurance, the new sponsor of all England Cricket Teams.
This event traditionally takes place before the first Test Match of the summer and provides a perfect opportunity for the players, media and the cricketing community to come together in order to review and celebrate the achievements of all England Cricket Teams over the past twelve months.
The winner of the ECB Men’s Cricketer of the Year, Graeme Swann, was selected by the British cricket media. He beat off stiff competition from Stuart Broad, Andrew Strauss, Paul Collingwood and James Anderson to claim the Award.
Swann has enjoyed a hugely successful year of international cricket. He’s played 45 times for his country in all formats of the game, taking 99 wickets at an average of 26.26. On five occasions he’s taken five or more wickets in an innings. His best bowling figures were 5 for 28 at the Riverside last summer which helped England claim victory in the final ODI against Australia. As a batsman he averaged over 25 with the bat which included a high score of 85 against South Africa in the1st Test Match last winter. After his performances in England’s unbeaten tour to Bangladesh he became the number two ranked bowler in Test Cricket.
Upon receiving the Award Swann said: “I am absolutely delighted to win this award. It’s been a magical year for me with so many high points. I love playing for England and hope this Award can be a stepping stone for even greater things both personally and as part of a successful England Team.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my team mates for the support they’ve given me on and off the field over the last year. As I’m sure you can see from the pictures on TV we work hard as a team and take real pleasure in each others successes. The atmosphere and bond we have in the dressing room at the moment makes winning that much sweeter.”
Katherine Brunt first won the ECB Cricketer of the Year Award in 2006. This time she was chosen by a panel comprising of Clare Connor, the Guardian’s Mike Selvey and England Coach Mark Lane from a shortlist that also included Sarah Taylor, Laura Marsh and Claire Taylor.
Since 2006 Brunt has since gone on to become a key member of the world beating England Women’s Team. With figures of 3 for 6 from 4 overs her bowling played an integral part in helping England win the ICC World Twenty20 2009 Final against New Zealand on home soil. Following her performances on England’s tour to India earlier this year, which included a match-winning 5 for 22 in the 2nd ODI in Bangalore, she climbed the ICC rankings to become the third best bowler in women’s cricket.
On winning the Award for a second time Katherine Brunt said: “I am honoured to win the ECB Women's Cricketer of the Year Award for second time. It’s been a mixed year for the team but along the way we’ve had some amazing highs such as winning the ICC Women's World Twenty20 in 2009.
“I've been pleased with my bowling performances over the last year, but I'm always striving to take it to the next level. My ultimate goal is to be the best bowler in the world in the women's game. It's great to be part of a successful team with so many talented players and makes taking this award even more special.”
Chris Edwards became the second cricketer to win the ECB Disability Cricketer of the Year Award after Nathan Foy in 2009. The 17 year-old all rounder started playing cricket when he was five years old and immediately showed enormous promise. He first played for the England Learning Disability Team in 2008 aged 15 going on to score 64 on debut. Chris has since gone on to cement his position in the team as an opening batsman whilst his seam bowling has also picked up useful wickets.
Commenting on the announcement of the three winners David Collier, ECB Chief Executive said: “This has been a year to remember for England’s Cricketers. In the last twelve months our Men’s and Women’s national teams have both secured an Ashes victory and an ICC World Twenty20 trophy. Whilst the England Learning Disability Team reached the final of the Tri-Nations Trophy at the MCG and in doing so recording their best ever result.
“On behalf of everyone at ECB I would like to congratulate Graeme Swann, Katherine Brunt and Chris Edwards on their respective Awards and take this opportunity to thank all those who have represented an England Cricket Team over the past twelve months - your achievements have given us an enormous amount of enjoyment and have helped ensure cricket remains the nation's number one summer sport.”