Saturday, September 30th, 2017

Bumpy Verdict On Worcestershire 2017 Award Winners

Daryl Mitchell, Ed Barnard and Ben Cox scooped three of the main trophies when Worcestershire CCC staged their Awards Night in the McMinn Developments Marquee at New Road.

Mitchell was voted Player’s Player Of The Year, Barnard the Supporters’ Association Player Of The Year and Ben Cox lifted the Dick Lygon Award for contributions on and off the pitch.

Josh Tongue also capped a memorable first season by being voted Young Player Of The Year.

Here Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes gives his thoughts on the award winners.

Players’ Player Of The Year – Daryl Mitchell

Steve Rhodes said: “Mitch has had an outstanding season. His first class batting average is over 50 and to score the runs he has done in that division, is testament to seven fantastic hundreds.

“We’ve only got 14 games now so to get the best part of 1300 runs is an amazing achievement.

“In particular, his hundred in the second innings against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge when the pressure was on was a mighty fine innings.

“He’s not just a four-day cricketer. His bowling in T20 was useful and his bowling in 50 over cricket, if you look at it statistically, was good.

“He is another important person in the dressing room. He is well respected and another guy who gives his all to the club.”

Supporters’ Association Player Of The Year – Ed Barnard

Steve Rhodes said: “He has had a wonderful season all-round. He has stayed fit, played all formats, bowled well batted well and fielded well outstandingly this year.

“He is someone who has put in a wholehearted, unbelievably massive effort all year long.

“One of the important things to think about is how much he has improved from last year. He has improved immensely as an all-round cricketer.

“The winter work he did went he went away to Perth and played for Scarborough….he became a man and now you are seeing a very talented cricketer.

“We’ve got a plan for the winter to try and get even more pace out of him and if that is the case then he is going to be a better player as well for that.”

Dick Lygon Award – Ben Cox

Steve Rhodes said: “Ben gives as much as anyone out there on the field with the gloves on and when he has got the bat in his hand, he has got a power game as well as a determined fighting game as well.

“His on field qualities in all formats are second to none.

“If often goes a bit unnoticed when he has got the gloves on which is a little bit sad for him because sometimes he can’t quite grab the limelight.

“But the players know how much he is respected on the field.

“The Lygon Award is also for off the field contributions and he is playing a more major senior role in the group now albeit as still such a young man himself.

“He is the players’ representative on the PCA. He is one of the guys who tries to organise things for the dressing room and he is not just one to take. He is very much a giver.”

Young Player Of The Year – Josh Tongue

Steve Rhodes said: “We’ve had a few young players come in, Browny (Pat Brown) and also Srimy (George Scrimshaw) have played a few games but Tongue has been the outstanding youngster at 19 years of age.

“To manage to get a full season in of Championship cricket and some other games in the other formats is testament to the boys looking after him but also him doing all that prep work and recovery work.

“So first of all he has done really well to stay fit and second to that his quality as a bowler, for a youngster is quite amazing.

“He has got control, a bit of pace, he has got swing, so he has got good skills and what seems is quite an old head on young shoulders.”

T20 Player Of Year – Joe Clarke

Steve Rhodes said: “We had a hunch in the winter that moving him to open might be a revelation for him.

“We were still unsure as to how it would go but he played really well and his strike rate was incredibly good

“It is testament to a lot of work he has been doing over the last couple of years really on striking the ball.

“He certainly hit the ball beautifully if it was in the slot and he also hit hard into length really well so he became difficult to bowl at especially as we all know he has got some deflection and ramp shots as well.

“His game has definitely expanded and was well suited to the first six overs of the match with the powerplay

“Long may that continue in future years.

“He is a class batsman in all formats. He is a good 50 over player as well, definitely one of the first men on our sheet, and added to that he is only 21.”

Kenyon Award – Joe Leach

Steve Rhodes – “First of all it is important to say that Joe Clarke had a fantastic game as well when he got two hundreds in the same game against Kent and the second one was to help us to victory.

“He certainly pushed very closely and the winner was Leachy who got two five wicket hauls in the home win over Northamptonshire.

“A very close decision between the two and a typical batters v bowlers argument over what is better, a five-for or a hundred.

“They are both very close but taking five wickets in both innings is something very special, to reach that 10 wicket haul for the match. Joe deserves the award for that reason.

“Northants have had a good season and played well in the four-day games. They were starting to improve a bit last year and they’ve built some confidence so beating them was crucial in relation to where we are at the end of the season.”