Jonathan Bairstow, the 21-year-old Yorkshire batsman-wicketkeeper, has been voted Young Cricketer of the Year for 2011 by the Cricket Writers’ Club and received a silver trophy at the club’s 65th anniversary lunch in the Long Room at Lord’s.
Bairstow, who was handed the prestigious trophy at the event by 1991 winner Mark Ramprakash, received nearly double the votes of runner-up Chris Woakes of Warwickshire. There was also support for Danny Briggs (Hampshire) and 2009 winner James Taylor (Leicestershire).
In all, votes were cast by cricket writers for 13 candidates – an exceptionally high number and believed to be the most in any year since the award was created in 1950.
Bairstow has scored 1,213 first-class runs at 48.52 for Yorkshire and the England Lions this season with three hundreds, with his maiden century, against Nottinghamshire in May, converted into a career-best 205.
Meanwhile he has also been responsible for 46 first-class dismissals, all caught, primarily as a wicketkeeper for his county.
A season of notable achievements saw Bairstow also make his one-day international debut for England in the fifth and final match of their series against India in Cardiff, scoring a match-winning 41 not out from only 22 balls.
Bairstow, the son of former Yorkshire and England wicketkeeper David, is the ninth Yorkshire cricketer to win the award following Fred Trueman (1952), Phil Sharpe (1962), Geoff Boycott (1963), Chris Old (1970), Ashley Metcalfe (joint winner, 1986), Richard Blakey (1987), Chris Silverwood (1996) and Adil Rashid (2007).
This is the 62nd year in which the Young Cricketer of the Year Award, restricted to England-qualified players under the age of 23 on May 1 of that year, has been presented.
Since 1950 the Cricket Writers’ Club’s 62 selections (there were joint winners in 1986) have amassed more than 2100 Test caps, with only eleven not playing any Test cricket for England. (Andrew Symonds, the English-born 1995 winner, subsequently played 26 Tests and 198 one-day internationals for Australia.)
In addition, 40 of the winners have amassed more than 1560 limited-overs international caps for England.
(Picture by kind permission of Matt Bright)