A Nice Little Urn-er

Jan 7, 2011 by

England’s magnificent 3-1 annihilation of Australia Down Under – winning an away Ashes series for the first time in 24 years and playing outstanding cricket along the way – has put captain Andrew Strauss, and run scoring machine and player of the series Alastair Cook, firmly in line to get in the shake up for Sports Personality Of The Year 2011.
This was an historic, not to mention emphatic, record-breaking victory, against the Auld Enemy. Strauss becomes the first England captain since Mike Brearley to win consecutive home and away Ashes series, while Cook set all manner of new batting records including becoming the second youngest test player to reach 5,000 test runs. The market has not reacted yet and there is outstanding value to be had backing Strauss at a best-priced 20-1 each-way with Paddy Power, and Cook at a best-priced 33-1 each-way with William Hill.
If England go on to win the cricket World Cup, Strauss will be trading in single figures, while if Cook continues his run-scoring spree during the summer test series against Sri Lanka and India, he will rapidly become the sporting ‘story’ of the year. Both of these scenarios are not remotely far-fetched in our view.
In a very unspectacular sporting year the biggest dangers to a cricketer not winning SPOTY are the usual suspects – Andy Murray finally winning a tennis slam, and Lee Westwood a golf major. We make England’s chances of cricket World Cup success a far more likely scenario, and this Ashes victory guarantees at least one of Strauss and Cook appearing in the 10 short-listed come year-end, so we recommend snapping up those each-way prices post-haste.
Rob Furber

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