Critchley claims Player of the Year award

Saturday 25th September 2021
& News
Photography by: ACJ Media

Matt Critchley has won the 2021 Derbyshire Player of the Year award, sponsored by Incora, after a stellar season. 

Critchley, 25, was one of just five players in the country to score 1,000 or more LV= County Championship runs this season, while his one century and eight half-centuries meant he made the equal-most scores of 50 or more.

The all-rounder also claimed 32 first-class wickets, the second-most in the Derbyshire squad, behind fast bowler Ben Aitchison (34), including one five wicket haul. His efforts also secured him the club’s County Championship Player of the Year award, sponsored by Derby and Burton Hospitals Charity.

However, it was not just in the red-ball game that Critchley shone, with crucial performances in Vitality Blast wins over Leicestershire and Northamptonshire, as well as taking his first steps into captaincy, leading the side to victories over Birmingham Bears and Durham.

Critchley was not the only player to pick up two trophies on the evening, as batter Tom Wood was named Royal London Cup Player of the Year, sponsored by Showcase Cinema de Lux as well as also earning the Eddie Barlow Inspirational Performance award for his scintillating century against Nottinghamshire.

Leus du Plooy’s big-hitting saw him named the Vitality Blast Player of the Year, sponsored by Showcase Cinema de Lux, after scoring 395 runs in the competition, at an average of 39.50, including three half-centuries and a high-score of 92.

Homegrown fast bowler Sam Conners was named Most Improved Player of the Year, after leading the attack in the LV= County Championship, becoming a constant threat with the new ball on his way to 26 wickets at an average of 28.84, while all-rounder Mattie McKiernan won Second XI Player of the Year after shining with bat and ball.

The Cricket Derbyshire Academy, in partnership with the University of Derby, was also recognised with two awards at the 2021 Player of the Year Gala Dinner, with Mitchell Wagstaff named Academy Player of the Year, after a brilliant season with bat and ball at under 18s level, as well as breaking into the first team squad for four Royal London Cup appearances.

Promising batter Nafis Shaikh retained the Chris Warne Shield for Academy Performance of the Year, having also won the award in 2019. This year, he was recognised for a rapid 107 from just 69 balls during an emphatic 59-run victory over Warwickshire in the ECB Under 18s 50-over Cup.

Derbyshire all-rounder Anuj Dal won the Spirit of Cricket award, recognising not only his attitude and value to the side on the field on the field, but also the positive work the 25-year-old is doing off it through his role as PCA Vice Chair, speaking out in the fight against racism and his coaching work, providing local youngsters with valuable tips as they make their first steps into the game.

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