Friday, September 23rd, 2016

Leach Lifts Players’ Player Of Year Award For Second Year Running

Leach Lifts Players’ Player Of Year Award For Second Year Running

All-rounder Joe Leach has been voted Worcestershire CCC's Arctic Spas Players' Player Of The Year for the second year running.

And the 25-year-old has completed a memorable double by also lifting the Dick Lygon Award – sponsored by Crown Domestic Appliances – given to a player for their contribution off as well as on the pitch.

Leach scored more than 600 Championship runs and picked up 65 wickets – the highest tally in Division Two of the Specsavers County Championship.

It followed on from last season's exploits in Division One of nearly 500 runs and 59 wickets.

Joe Clarke also retained The Young Player Of The Year award – sponsored by Mark Bowen and MB Insolvency – after scoring five Championship hundreds and completing 1,000 runs in his first full season of first team cricket.

Clarke's achievements have led to a third call up by England Lions for their winter programme.

Here Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes gives his appraisal of the qualities which won Leach and Clarke their respective awards.


Steve Rhodes: "I think the Players' Player award is a real prestigious award, for your peers, the guys you are with in the dressing room day in and day out throughout a busy season, to vote for you is really special.

"Joe deserves to win it this year. He has been consistent in all formats and he is well respected for the performances and other dimensions he gives to the dressing room.

"He has got 600 runs and over 60 wickets and there are other things to consider. He has played all the games in all formats, the 20 over games, and 50 over games, and been successful. He had a taste of captaincy and is the type of guy who is a competitor and that holds him in good stead for the future years."


Steve Rhodes: "Joe Clarke has had another wonderful season and is definitely progressing in the right way. He has got six hundreds which is a terrific effort for a youngster and has an old head on young shoulders.

"Joe is winning this award for the second year running and I'm sure he would have pushed Joe Leach for the Players' Player Of The Year and it would have been a close thing.

"He is a young player who is class and is getting better, a player we are delighted to have brought through the system and his runs go a long way towards helping the team secure some big scores.

"He defies his youth in many ways. There is definitely an old head on young shoulders and when you look at some of the best young players…..Alastair Cook, when he was very young, seemed to possess an old head on young shoulders.

"Joe Root was the same so that's a good sign for Joe Clarke to possess a similar trait."


Steve Rhodes: "The Dick Lygon award is a really special award because it is for performances on an off the field and it's decided by the Chairman and Director of Cricket .

"We had other outstanding canidates as well and that's testament to Joe Leach's qualities to keep them at bay in many ways.

"The important thing for everyone to consider when this award was given out was that it is not just the best player.

"It is the guy who gives his all to the dressing room, who gives his all for the club and the club's cause, the type of guy called upon to make appearances outside playing cricket and a real good ambassador for Worcestershire CCC.

"Joe fits that bill superbly with the season he has had on the field and also the manner in which he goes about his professional business as a Worcestershire player in promoting the club and what we stand for.

"He is an example of a person you can't fail to respect."