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April 18, 2012
Graeme Swann has been named as England's Most Valuable Player over the winter, according to the ranking system used by the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA). Swann's 10-wicket haul against Sri Lanka earlier this month helped England to a first Test win in five matches and took his tally to 39 wickets in all formats.
Swann held off Kevin Pietersen, who scored 151 as England levelled the two-Test series with Sri Lanka at 1-1, to win the FTI MVP award, which includes a cheque for £2,000 to be given the charity Lowe Syndrome Trust. Swann has previously been England's MVP twice before - after the tours to South Africa and Bangladesh in 2009-10 and following the 2010 English summer.
The draw in Colombo - in which Swann finished with match figures of 10 for 181 - also ensured England retained their No. 1 Test ranking for a while longer.
"I'm delighted to have won the FTI MVP after what has been a tough winter and it's obviously great that we're still number one too," Swann said. "It is nice to win any award but it is especially pleasing to win one where you are compared to your team-mates on hard statistics.
"Losing the three Tests against Pakistan was a real blow, but we picked ourselves up in the ODIs and again after the defeat in Galle to prove there's plenty of fight in this team. The performance in Colombo bodes well for the summer, and hopefully we can carry that momentum into the Test series against the West Indies."
Sebastian Mathews, senior vice-president of FTI Consulting, said: "Congratulations to Graeme on his win, not only for this winter, but for becoming the first person to win a hat-trick of England FTI MVP awards. It was a very exciting end to the winter FTI MVPs where Graeme was run very close and this sets us up for an exciting summer of cricket ahead of us."
The MVP ranking system, used by the PCA since 2007, takes into account factors such as bowlers' economy rates and the percentage of a team's runs scored by individual batsmen, alongside more standard measurements such as wickets, runs and catches.
Swann also topped the individual Test statistics with 146 points from five matches at an average of 29.17. His total was over 40 points clear of nearest challenger James Anderson. ODI captain Alastair Cook led from the front in 50-over cricket, topping the standings with 113 points, while Pietersen, who scored 30% of England's runs in the shortest format, was the T20 FTI MVP.
Edited by Alan Gardner
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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