Strauss player of the year
England captain Andrew Strauss was named as the team's player of the year for 2008/09 by sponsors Vodafone here on Monday.
The award, given to the opening batsman just two days before he leads England into the first Test against the West Indies at his Lord's home ground, was a reward for some heavy run-scoring by the Middlesex left-hander.
Strauss, whose side face Australia later in the season, said he hoped the award would be a harbinger of Ashes success just as it was when he won it ahead of England's victorious 2005 campaign against their oldest cricket foes.
"This is the second time I have won this award, and I regard it as a great honour to be named Vodafone England Player of the Year," said the 32-year-old Strauss, in fine form during the 'winter' in India and the Caribbean, where he made hundreds in three successive Tests against the West Indies.
"The last time was in 2004, and I received the award in early 2005. Let's hope that this is an omen for this extremely exciting summer ahead."
Strauss was appointed England captain after Kevin Pietersen lost the post following a row with Peter Moores which cost the then England coach his job.
But by then he'd already been enjoying himself with the bat.
"Last year was memorable for me -- starting with a hundred in New Zealand -- and I was fortunate enough to end the 12 months with two centuries in the same game in Chennai against India," Strauss, only the 10th England player to make two hundreds in both innings of a Test, said.
Claire Taylor won the corresponding award for the England women's team.
She made 324 runs in England's victorious World Cup campaign in Australia -- with a top score of 101 -- and had already been named the player of the tournament as well as becoming the first woman to be chosen as one of cricket annual Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year.