Yet another accolade for Flintoff

Andrew Flintoff's annus mirablis was acknowledged by his fellow cricketers last night, as he was named as Player of the Year by the Professional Cricketers' Association, at their annual awards ceremony at the Royal Albert Hall.

Flintoff, who was a part of the England team that overcame Australia to reach the final of the Champions Trophy, has scored at least 50 in his last eight Tests, and has made three hundreds and a 99 in his last seven one-day internationals. The accolade follows his success at the inaugural ICC Awards at Alexandra Palace last month, when he was named as the One-Day Player of the Year.

The highlights of Flintoff's year have been numerous. He took his maiden five-wicket haul in the third Test in Barbados back in April, as England clinched their first series win in the Caribbean for three decades, and was named Man of the Series in the return leg in England in the second half of the English summer, when his magnificent 167 at Edgbaston contributed to a 4-0 whitewash.

To cap it all, he recently became a father for the first time, and was a highly popular winner of an award, being named ahead of Steve Harmison, Robert Key and Andrew Strauss.
Warwickshire's Ian Bell, who made his Test debut in the final match of the summer, against West Indies at The Oval, was named Young Player of the Year - an award he also received from the Cricket Writers' Club at the end of August. Bell, who made a hugely composed 70 in that debut Test, also averaged 71.33 in the County Championship, as Warwickshire remained unbeaten all season to claim the title.

There was also a special award for England's former captain, Nasser Hussain, who retired after sealing victory with a memorable hundred in the first Test of the summer, against New Zealand at Lord's. Glamorgan picked up the Spirit of Cricket award, Neil Mallender was chosen as Umpire of the Year, and the retiring wicketkeepers, Steve Rhodes and Jack Russell, shared the "In Safe Hands" award.