England news May 14, 2012

Anderson voted Player of the Year


James Anderson has been named England Cricketer of the Year for 2011/12. Anderson, the 29-year-old swing bowler, has taken 46 wickets in 11 Tests from the start of the 2011 English season and has risen to No. 3 in the ICC Test bowling rankings. He also played a key role in England's defeat of India - a result that confirmed England as the No. 1 rated Test side - and proved his worth in all conditions with excellent performances in the UAE and Sri Lanka.

Anderson, who claimed his 250th Test wicket and rose to fifth on the list of England's all-time Test wicket-takers during the period, beat off competition from fellow nominees Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook to win the award which is decided by votes from members of the cricket media. Charlotte Edwards was named England Women's Cricketer of the Year, while Daniel Bell-Drummond won the England Development Programme Cricketer of the Year and Callum Rigby won the England Disability Cricketer of the Year award.

"It's an amazing achievement and I'm really proud of it," Anderson said. "There have been so many successful individual performances over the last year so it's nice to be recognised for performing well over the last 12 months.

"The last two years I've shown what I can actually do at this level. It's been a frustrating eight years before that - a bit up and down - but I've been really pleased with my performance in the last two years. The challenge is to try to keep improving and push on."

Anderson claimed two five-wicket hauls in Test cricket over the 12-month period: 5 for 65 against India at Lord's and 5 for 72 against Sri Lanka in Galle. Perhaps more impressively, he showed he now has the skills to adapt to any conditions with a series of fine performances in the UAE and Sri Lanka. It is hard to recall a single poor spell from him on either tour.

"Knowing my game has been the biggest thing," Anderson said, explaining his consistency over the last couple of years. "Knowing that I can bowl a ball on a length for a period of time is what all bowlers strive for and is something that was missing from my game for the first part of my career. Being able to do it game after game is something I've been able to develop really well over the past couple of years.

"I've always been able to swing the ball but I've added different skills throughout my career, and I think being able to bowl in all sorts of conditions has been a problem - not just for me, but for a lot of English bowlers over the years when we've gone away with unfamiliar conditions, we've struggled with that. But I think now all of the bowlers in this group have got good skills to take away from us, and that's really exciting when we've got tours of India and places like that coming up."

Anderson insisted he had no thoughts about overtaking Ian Botham's record as England's leading wicket taker - Botham claimed 383 Test wickets - but said he hoped he could continue playing for many years to come.

"If I maintain the same work ethic that I have done throughout my career, I don't see why I can't keep this form up for a good few years," Anderson said. "I feel fit and strong and I think the fitness is probably going to play the biggest part in how long I keep playing for.

"I keep getting reminded about the record. It's nice to be up there, and having taken 250-plus Test wickets is an amazing achievement for me and I'm really proud of that. But I just want to stay on the field and play games for England. When I sit down at the end of my career, I can look back on 500-600 wickets hopefully."

Although the award is meant to recognise "outstanding performances in all formats of international cricket over the past year" it is safe to conclude that Anderson won for his Test form. He has not played international T20 cricket in the period and, though his ODI form improved steadily after a disappointing World Cup in early 2011, he is no longer an automatic selection in that format.

"I'd love to be with England involved in all three formats," he said. "It's not been the case in the last couple of years but I was in the squad for the last World Cup and I'd love to get into the side. I'm in a position now where I've got to knock on the door of that team, so if I get the chance to play any T20 cricket for Lancashire this year I've got to use that to try to put pressure on the guys who are in the team already. I've just got to wait for a chance to arise."

Cook might consider himself unfortunate not to have won. Cook not only scored three ODI centuries (two against Pakistan and one against Sri Lanka) and averaged 54.29 over the period but he grew in stature as the ODI captain and led England to series victories over both World Cup finalists - India and Sri Lanka - as well as a rare victory in overseas conditions in Pakistan. His Test form was less consistent, but he still averaged 55.47 over the year, with a career-best 294 against India and two centuries against Sri Lanka the highlights.

Broad, meanwhile, averaged 31.41 with the bat and 23.04 with the ball in Tests over the 12-month period. He is also the only one of the three shortlisted candidates currently playing in all three formats. But he did enjoy some consolation as he won the Fans' Moment of the Year Award, voted for by members of ECB's Twelfth Man fan community, for his hat-trick against India in last summer's Trent Bridge Test.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aswin on May 17, 2012, 2:35 GMT

    @indncrktfan i hope dat u noticed anderson's bowling in 2010 ashes in oz and in da recent series in da middle east and sri lanka

  • Andrew on May 17, 2012, 0:16 GMT

    Think its odd that the player of the Year award gets awarded before the Season starts, & just after the Winter player of the year!!!!!

  • John on May 16, 2012, 21:13 GMT

    @IndnCrktfan on (May 16 2012, 13:43 PM GMT) Jimmy bowled well in UAE (I know not technically SC) and SL (which is SC) and (not meaning to be argumentative) you said that Jimmy is far from being great in your previous post but in this post you define top 5 or top 10 as great. Jimmy is at number 3.

  • Rayner on May 16, 2012, 16:20 GMT

    I think cookie was unlucky to not get the award this year, perhaps for not getting big runs in the winter, although close to twice to 3 figures, and his ODI batting has been a revalation. Also Broady was unlucky not to get it.. both of those imo over Jimmer but fair play, I can't remember a bad spell from him. Nice to see lots of people nominating SRT in the comments; SRT, i don't think would get the awarde of the season at the moment with an ave of 38 in tests being placed 12th in the ICC rankings, 31 in ODI with SR of 80 and playing in no T20Is, although being born in Bombay/ Mumbai and playing for India was probably the biggest factor in an award only open to english cricketers (And maybe a few Saffers ;-) ) . Although he is a legendary cricketer, he's probably not right for this award.

  • John on May 16, 2012, 15:59 GMT

    @Charlie Budge on (May 15 2012, 21:10 PM GMT) Yes me too - but I suppose if you were going to take an educated guess...

  • Subash on May 16, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    @JG: By great I mean top 5 or 10 bowlers in he world. Currently Jimmy is ranked 3rd in the ICC rankings for test matches ahead of Broad (49 point separation) which, I don't agree. Jimmy is great when the ball is swinging. He has great control over his line and length and reminds me of Sir Hadlee / Kapil dev. But, Jimmy will continue to struggle in the sub-continent whereas I see Broad making an impact on Indian pitches. Anyway the scary thing is both Jimmy and Steyn are not yet 30, which means they have lot of cricket left in them and can acheive great things given what they are capable of.

  • Matt on May 16, 2012, 12:36 GMT

    what! kevin pietersen shouldve gotten the award! Anderson doesn't deserve it.

  • Aswin on May 16, 2012, 9:57 GMT

    @ JM_RSA extremely sry I actually referred to his n hilfenhaus' death bowling in Asia sometyms Bcos sum wer talkin abut anderson's death bowling in asia

    but odarwise I hv high regard for steyn I hope u noticed dat I said steyn is one of day 4 best bowlers

  • stuart on May 15, 2012, 22:28 GMT

    well done to Jimmy for this.Jonesey 2.I love your comments mate as they always make me feel so much better about life.If i was an Aussie I would be inclined to shut up til next year considering the beating we gave you last year.Anderson and Broad against your line up next year.He must be shaking in his boots.I mean Warner,Cowan and marsh.Yep 3 for little in no time.What happens when Ponitng and Hussey go? Keep dreaming mate.

  • Dummy4 on May 15, 2012, 21:10 GMT

    @ JG2704 - I looked at his Facebook profile which his comment links to. He's from India.

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