Graeme Swann has been named the winter’s most valuable England player after his ten wickets in the Second Test against Sri Lanka helped Andrew Strauss’s team to retain top spot in the Test rankings.
The spinner held off a late charge from team-mate Kevin Pietersen to collect the FTI MVP award and a £2,000 cheque for the charity Lowe Syndrome Trust.
Swann’s haul in Colombo took him to 39 wickets in total in all formats over the winter. He also contributed 189 runs and took five catches in the field.
His achievement completes a hat-trick of wins in the competition following similar heroics on tour in 2009 and during the home series in 2010. And it was all the sweeter as it ensured the Three Lions held on to their coveted No 1 status in Test cricket.
Swann said: “I’m delighted to have won the FTI MVP after what has been a tough winter and it’s obviously great that we’re still number one too.
“It is nice to win any award but it is especially pleasing to win one where you are compared to your team-mates on hard statistics.
“Losing the three Tests against Pakistan was a real blow, but we picked ourselves up in the ODIs and again after the defeat in Galle to prove there’s plenty of fight in this team.
“The performance in Colombo bodes well for the summer, and hopefully we can carry that momentum into the Test series against the West Indies.”
As well as his ten-wicket haul, Swann picked up 6 for 82 in the second innings in Galle. He also scored 34 and 39 with the bat against Pakistan in the first Test in Dubai and took 4 for 107 with the ball. He finished the overall FTI MVP England winner by being 12 points clear of Pietersen.
Sebastian Mathews, senior vice president of FTI Consulting, said: “Congratulations to Graeme on his win, not only for this winter but for becoming the first person to win a hat-trick of England FTI MVP awards.
“It was a very exciting end to the winter FTI MVPs where he was run very close and this sets us up for an exciting summer of cricket ahead.”