Sports Personality 2011: England cricketers win Team of the Year award

The England Test cricket team have won the BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year award after securing a first Ashes series triumph in Australia since 1987.

Captain Andrew Strauss's side won the final two Tests after Christmas to retain the urn with a 3-1 victory.

England also beat Sri Lanka 1-0 and whitewashed India 4-0 at home to become the world's number one Test side.

They beat Premier League champions Manchester United and Wales' rugby union team to win the award.

England have been awarded the accolade three times in seven years - the first two coming after home Ashes series victories in 2005 and 2009.

The team's success makes it a notable double for England following Andy Flower's triumph in the Coach of the Year category.

England arrived in Australia to predictions from Australia legends Ricky Ponting and Glenn McGrath  that the hosts could inflict a repeat of the 5-0 drubbing England suffered on their 2006-7 tour down under.

ENGLAND IN 2011

  • January: Sealed 3-1 Ashes series win over Australia, drew T20 series v Aus 1-1
  • February: Lost ODI series v Aus 6-1
  • March: eliminated by Sri Lanka in quarter-finals of Cricket World Cup
  • June: Won home Test series 1-0 v Sri Lanka
  • July: Won ODI series 3-2 v Sri Lanka
  • August: Won home Test series 4-0 v India
  • September: Won home ODI series 3-0 v India
  • October Lost away ODI series 5-0 v India

But after Australia had secured a comfortable 237-run win in the third Test in Perth to level the series 1-1, England posted consecutive innings victories in Melbourne and Sydney to retain the urn in emphatic style.

The team have not lost a Test series since May 2009 and their rise to the top of the International Cricket Council's five-day rankings  was confirmed as they took an unassailable 3-0 series lead over India at Edgbaston in August.

Their ascent marks a remarkable turnaround from their position at the bottom of the Test rankings in 1999.

While the team have not lost a Test match in more than a year, their one-day form has not been as strong.

After losing the one-day series against Australia 6-1, they suffered defeats by Ireland and Bangladesh at the World Cup before bowing out with a 10-wicket defeat by Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals.

One-day international series victories over Sri Lanka and India at home were followed by a 5-0 whitewash away to India.

The winner of the award was decided by a panel of sports editors from national and regional newspapers and magazines.