James Anderson may not have done much of note in the Tests against South Africa so far, but his performances over the last season were enough to ensure that he was voted Young Cricketer of the Year by the Cricket Writers' Club (CWC). Anderson became the first player in the 54-year history of the event to win the award unchallenged, as all 175 members of the club who voted plumped for him.
Anderson, who made his England debut during the one-day VB Series in Australia last winter, has had a sensational first eight months in international cricket. He was England's most incisive bowler in the World Cup, winning two Man-of-the-Match awards, including one for a four-wicket haul against Pakistan. He then claimed a hat-trick - the first by an England bowler in an ODI - against Pakistan in the NatWest Challenge. Anderson's entry into the Test arena was equally dramatic, with a five-for against Zimbabwe at Lord's.
"Jimmy's emergence as an England star should inspire every young player in the country - it shows that if you have the talent the opportunities are there," said Colin Evans, the chairman of the Cricket Writers' Club. "He has run away with our award this year and is still eligible for it for the next two seasons." All players who are under 23 are eligible for the award, whose earlier recipients include Ian Botham, David Gower, Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain. Anderson will receive his trophy at the CWC's annual dinner in London on August 29.