ECB honours Swann and Brunt
The ECB today announced that Graeme Swann and Katherine Brunt have won the ECB men’s and women’s Cricketer of the Year awards, whilst 17-year-old all-rounder Chris Edwards from Liverpool received the England Disability Cricketer of the Year award.
The awards evening, which was held in the Long Room at Lord’s, was hosted by the ECB and Brit Insurance, the new sponsor of all England cricket teams.
This event traditionally takes place before the first Test match of the summer and provides a perfect opportunity for the players, media and the cricketing community to come together in order to review and celebrate the achievements of all England cricket teams over the past twelve months.
Swann, winner of the ECB men’s Cricketer of the Year, was selected by the British cricket media. He beat off stiff competition from Stuart Broad, Andrew Strauss, Paul Collingwood and James Anderson to claim the award.
Swann has enjoyed a hugely successful year of international cricket. He played 45 times for his country in all formats of the game, taking 99 wickets at an average of 26.26.
On five occasions Swann has taken five or more wickets in an innings. His best bowling figures were 5-28 at the Riverside last summer which helped England claim victory in the final one-day international against Australia.
As a batsman he averaged over 25 with the bat. His highest of 85 came against South Africa in the first Test last winter. After his performances in England’s unbeaten tour to Bangladesh, he became the number two ranked bowler in Test cricket.
Swann said: “I am absolutely delighted to win this award. 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 an 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 others successes. The atmosphere and bond we have in the dressing room at the moment makes the winning that much sweeter.”
Brunt first won the ECB Cricketer of the Year award in 2006. This time she was chosen by a panel comprising of Clare Connor, the Guardian’s Mike Selvey and England coach Mark Lane from a shortlist that also included Sarah Taylor, Laura Marsh and Claire Taylor.
Since 2006 Brunt has since gone on to become a key member of the world beating England women’s team. With figures of 3-6 from four overs her bowling played an integral part in helping England win the ICC World Twenty20 2009 final against New Zealand on home soil.
Following her performances on England’s tour to India earlier this year, which included a match-winning 5-22 in the 2nd ODI in Bangalore, she climbed the ICC rankings to become the third best bowler in women’s cricket.
Brunt said: “I am honoured to win the ECB Women's Cricketer of the Year Award for second time. 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.”
Edwards became the second cricketer to win the ECB Disability Cricketer of the Year award after Nathan Foy in 2009.
The 17-year-old all-rounder started playing cricket when he was five years old and immediately showed enormous promise.
He first played for the England Learning Disability team aged 15 in 2008, scoring 64 on debut. Edwards 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.
He also represents Cheshire Under-18s as well as the Men’s Disability team.
ECB chief executive David Collier 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 involved 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 an England cricket team over the past twelve months.
"Your achievements have given us an enormous amount of enjoyment and have helped ensure cricket remains the nations number one summer sport.”
The England men’s team reached the semi-final of the ICC Champions Trophy before becoming only the second team to beat South Africa in a one-day series in South Africa.
After drawing the Test series against South Africa they crossed continents to enjoy an unbeaten tour to Bangladesh winning both the Test and one-day series.
All this was a prelude to the World Twenty20 in the West Indies, which saw Paul Collingwood captain England men to victory for the first time in an ICC global event.
England’s women’s team capitalised on the momentum of their World Twenty20 victory by retaining the Ashes before beating Australia in a NatWest ODI series later that summer.
After losing two ODI series’ against West Indies and India the England women’s team finished the winter on a high claiming victory in a Twenty20 series against India on a tour to the sub-continent.