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May 24, 2010
Graeme Swann was unveiled on Monday night as the ECB's Cricketer of the Year, following a remarkable 12 months in which his attacking offspin and hard-hitting lower-order batting have proved instrumental in one of the most successful years that the England cricket team has ever known.
Swann claimed 99 wickets at 26.26 in 45 matches for England, across all forms of the game, and picked up the accolade - which was voted for by the British media - at an awards ceremony in the Long Room at Lord's. He beat off competition from Stuart Broad, Andrew Strauss, Paul Collingwood and James Anderson.
"I am absolutely delighted to win this award," said Swann. "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 other's successes. The atmosphere and bond we have in the dressing room at the moment makes winning that much sweeter."
Swann picked up five five-wicket hauls in all internationals in 2009-10, including a best haul of 5 for 28 against Australia at the Riverside last September. As a batsman, he averaged over 25 with a top-score of 85 against South Africa in the first Test at Centurion in December. Following a career-best ten-wicket haul in the Chittagong Test against Bangladesh in March, he rose to become the No.2 bowler in Test cricket.
Meanwhile, Katherine Brunt was named as the ECB Women's Cricketer of the Year, an award she first picked up in 2006, having produced matchwinning figures of 3 for 6 from four overs in the final of the ICC World Twenty20 against New Zealand at Lord's in 2009. She also claimed 5 for 22 in the second ODI against India in Bangalore, after which she was ranked as the third-best bowler in women's cricket.
"I am honoured to win the ECB Women's Cricketer of the Year Award for second time," said Brunt. "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."
The 17-year-old allrounder Chris Edwards became the second cricketer to win the ECB Disability Cricketer of the Year Award, after Nathan Foy in 2009. 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 England over the past twelve months - your achievements have given us an enormous amount of enjoyment and have helped ensure cricket remains the nation's No. 1 summer sport."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Plays of the Day from second ODI between South Africa and Pakistan, in Port Elizabeth