Anderson & Edwards take awards
James Anderson and Charlotte Edwards have been named as England's cricketers of the year for 2011/12.
Fast bowler Anderson, and women's captain Edwards, received their awards - along with Kent batsman Daniel Bell-Drummond as development cricketer of the year, and disability cricketer of the year Callum Rigby - at a Lord's dinner hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board and team sponsors Brit Insurance.
Anderson was chosen by members of the cricket media, ahead of fellow nominees Stuart Broad and Alastair Cook.
Currently ranked the world's third-best bowler in the International Cricket Council's Test rankings, Anderson took his 250th wicket in the past 12 months and has also risen to fifth on the list of England's all-time leading wicket-takers.
Delighted to win an award which last year went to batsman Jonathan Trott and the year before off-spinner Graeme Swann, 29-year-old Anderson believes he is bowling better than he ever has.
"The last two years I've shown what I can actually do at this level," he said.
"It's been a frustrating eight years before that, up and down.
"But the last two years I've been really pleased with - the challenge is to try to keep improving and push."
His first opportunity to do that will come against West Indies, in this week's first Investec Test at Lord's.
The West Indies are currently characterised as a team of potential, especially with their bowling attack, but one with an inexperienced top order.
"We'd love to make early inroads," said Anderson.
"That's my job and Stuart's job.
"But from watching West Indies against Australia recently, they showed glimpses of a talented side.
"We can't just expect them to roll over. They're going to put up a fight. It's going to be a challenge for us."
Anderson's other challenges include achieving a longevity which will take him even higher up that list of England's greatest bowlers.
He said: "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.
"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."
His know-how will help as well.
"I've always been able to swing the ball, but I've added different skills throughout my career," he added.
"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.
"But I think now all of the bowlers in this group have got good skills to take away from home, and that's really exciting when we've got tours of India and places like that coming up."
Edwards averaged more than 50 with the bat in the past year, and saw her team complete a clean sweep of series wins at home and abroad.
Bell-Drummond first played for England Under-19s when he was just 16 and is now this country's all-time highest one-day international runscorer in that age group.
ECB chief executive David Collier said: "This has been a marvellous year for all our England teams, with our men's team becoming the world's number one-ranked Test side, our women's team winning every series they contested, and our EDP and disability squads also making significant progress in their respective fields.
"Congratulations go to all our winners."
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