Steven Finn wins Emerging Player award
The England fast bowler Steven Finn has capped a remarkable maiden year of international cricket by being named as the ICC's Emerging Player at their annual awards ceremony in Bengaluru.
Finn has claimed 32 wickets at 23.21 in his eight Test appearances against Bangladesh and Pakistan, including consecutive five-wicket hauls at Lord's and Old Trafford in May and June. He made his debut in Chittagong back in March, having flown out to Bangladesh only days earlier as an injury replacement for Graham Onions.
Receiving his award from legendary West Indies bowler Joel Garner, Finn said: "It's a great honour, and one that I wasn't expecting. It's been a great honour just to play Test cricket for my country over the past 12 months, because Tests are the highest level of the game, and though it's been tough at times, there's the joy of representing your country."
Finn's 6'7" frame, allied to a solid temperament and an intelligent game-brain, has made him an integral part of an England bowling attack that has secured victory in seven of their last eight Tests, and even at the age of 21, he is regarded as integral to England's hopes of successfully defending the Ashes for the first time since 1986-87.
"We are very confident going into the Ashes," said Finn. "We are very well prepared, and though we are going in as underdogs, we have a very settled side."
Finn was one of two Englishmen to make the final shortlist for the awards, alongside his team-mate Graeme Swann, who was nominated for the Player of the Year category. He beat Pakistan's Umar Akmal, Sri Lanka's Angelo Mathews and Australia's Tim Paine to the Emerging Player title, which was won last year by the Australia fast bowler, Peter Siddle.
The Emerging Player of the Year Award was one of nine individual prizes given at this year's ICC Awards. Players eligible for this award must be under 26 years of age at the start of the voting period (August 24, 2009) and have played no more than five Test matches and/or 10 ODIs before the start of the voting period.