This Monday, James Anderson received a great testimony to his skills and efforts. He was announced ‘England's cricketer of the year 2011-12’ at a special event hosted by the ECB and Brit Insurance at Lords. Presently ranked number three in the ICC rankings for bowlers, James Anderson has had an exception cricketing year in the past 12 months. He took his 250th test wicket and is the mainstay of the English pace battery.
Speaking to the ECB website (ecb.co.uk), Anderson said: “I am flattered to win this award and would like to thank everyone who voted for me. I have been pleased with my performances over the last year and was delighted with the way I bowled on the recent tour of Sri Lanka - but I take even greater pleasure from being part of such a successful England team.” Anderson faced competition from fellow nominees Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook but eventually went on to win the award.
The awards that recognize outstanding performances by English cricketers in all formats of international cricket over the past year also acknowledged the contribution and enhancements Women’s cricket has made. Captain of the English women’s cricket team, Charlotte Edwards was named England Women’s Cricketer of the Year for 2011-12. Focusing on the future and development of English cricket, young Daniel Bell-Drummond, who plays for Kent and England under-19, was named England Development Programme Cricketer of the Year. Further emphasizing that its heart was in the right place, the ECB gave away the England Disability Cricketer of the Year award to 19 year old Callum Rigby. The awards were decided by votes from members of the cricket media.
Anderson is currently fifth in the list of England’s highest wicket takers of all time, is well on his way to becoming one of its legendary bowlers, if he keeps his focus and sticks to what he is doing at the moment. Having shown his skills at picking 5-wicket hauls on both – the fast and bouncy wickets of England and the slower, batsmen friendly wickets of Sri Lanka, even experts have lauded his bowling. The ESPNCricinfo website states that it is hard to pick a single bad spell of bowling from Anderson during England’s home series against India and the away series against Sri Lanka.
The only known Achilles’ heal that Anderson is known to have is being able to adapt to the shorter versions of the game. His ODI and T20 stats are but lesser indications of the skills the man has at the test level. Expressing his desire to play for England in all forms of the game, Anderson said, “I’d love to be with England involved in all three formats. 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.”
Anderson has picked up 258 wickets in 68 tests, 208 wickets in 154 ODIs and 18 wickets in 19 T20 games.