Strauss named Player of the Year
Andrew Strauss has capped a memorable 12 months, which began with his recall to the Test team and culminated in his accession to the Test captaincy, by being named as England's Player of the Year for the second time in four years.
Strauss marked his return to England colours with a career-best 177 against New Zealand at Napier in March 2008, and followed up by winning the Man of the Series award in the return rubber at home two months later. In all he made 1513 runs in 17 Tests at 54.03, a tally which included seven centuries, two of which came in a single Test against India at Chennai in December.
Having taken over the leadership of the side in January in the wake of the Kevin Pietersen-Peter Moores debacle, Strauss led from the front with three further hundreds in consecutive Tests against West Indies in the Caribbean. Although he was unable to secure victory for his team, he made amends with a matchwinning role in the subsequent five-match ODI series.
"This is the second time that I have won this award and I regard it as a great honour to be named Vodafone England Player of the Year," said Strauss. "The last time was in 2004 and I received the award in early 2005. Let's hope that this is an omen for this extremely exciting summer ahead.
"Last year was memorable for me - starting with a hundred in New Zealand and I was fortunate enough to end the 12 months with two centuries in the same game in Chennai against India. I would like to thank Vodafone for this award and all the awards for outstanding individual achievements. I know all the England players treasure these awards."
Previous winners of the award include Andrew Flintoff and Ryan Sidebottom, who was the previous recipient of the honour following his memorable comeback season in 2007. Strauss received the award at the England Teams' Dinner in the Long Room at Lord's, alongside the Women's Player of the Year, Claire Taylor, whose Ashes and World-Cup winning exploits have already led to her being named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year.
"It's a huge honour to be named two years in a row when so many of the England girls have put in great performances this year," said Taylor. "The last 12 months have been an amazing time to be involved in women's cricket with our unbeaten summer run and our World Cup triumph in Sydney. I'm looking forward to an exciting summer of cricket with the ICC Women's World Twenty20 competition in parallel with the men's and an Ashes and one-day series against Australia."