Kevin Pietersen has reacted to becoming one of Wisden's five cricketers of the year by challenging himself to raise the standard of his performances.

The former Cannock Cricket Club professional, aged 25, was lauded for an outstanding first year as an international cricketer by joining Ashes-winning colleagues Simon Jones and Matthew Hoggard in the almanack's customary quintet, which also included Australians Ricky Ponting and Brett Lee.

Individuals can be named only once in their careers and former winner Andrew Flintoff received the gong of leading cricketer of the world for 2005. England have dominated the past two editions of the famous yellow-jacketed book after a clean sweep of five in 2005.

Although Pietersen has excelled in one-day internationals - he averages 76 in England's pyjamas - his contribution in 11 Tests was also worthy and included that famous Ashes-clinching 158 at The Oval last September.

He said: "I have to give ten to 20 per cent more in every single department.

"There is room for improvement. I don't think I am amazing at everything - that is just ridiculous.

"A lot has happened that could have stretched over five or six years.

"Now it is just a case of keeping myself going and making sure I am fully tuned in - try harder, work harder than I have done. I want to stay consistent and keep being recognised for being successful for England.

"Expectations are always difficult to live up to. I have set pretty high standards, but I hope I keep on performing."

Yesterday's is the latest award for South Africa-born Pietersen, who was named the International Cricket Council's one-day and emerging player of the year in Sydney last autumn.

He said: "It's fantastic to know you get your rewards for being successful on the cricket field.

"Because of how historic and traditional this award is, people always wish one day to get in and become the world's best player like 'Fred' has become. To be the world's best player is amazing for him and richly deserved.

"Simon and Hoggy have jumped in as well, so it reflects well on English cricket."

Flintoff, who pipped Pietersen's Hampshire team-mate Shane Warne to the title, said: "I'm pleased to have been given the award, it's very humbling and obviously a great honour. The last 12 months have been fantastic and I'm looking forward to building on that."