Stevens claims top honours at Kent Cricket’s End of Season Awards

Saturday 5th October 2013

Men’s First Team

Stevens claims top honours at Kent Cricket’s End of Season Awards
Photo: Darren Stevens receives the Player of the Season award from Kent Cricket President, Bob "The Cat" Bevan MBE

Kent County Cricket Club concluded the 2013 cricket season with a prestigious End of Season Awards ceremony at The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence on Friday night. The evening offered a unique opportunity for the Club’s key sponsors to join supporters and the Kent Cricket squad to celebrate key accomplishments and performances.

Highlights of Kent’s 2013 season include the team’s world record-breaking run chase against Sussex in the Yorkshire Bank 40 competition. Kent’s innings included a sublime 44-ball century from Darren Stevens which won the Walter Lawrence Trophy for fastest hundred of the 2013 cricket season. And just last week, Kent recorded their second-best fourth-innings total in the Club’s history for a championship triumph, against an unbeaten Lancashire side at Canterbury.

The Awards were an opportunity to celebrate key milestones; during the evening Fabian Cowdrey, Mitch Claydon, Calum Haggett and Matt Hunn were awarded cufflinks in recognition of their first class debuts during the 2013 season. All four are contracted to play for Kent during 2014.

Players also received awards for reaching their first century for the Club in a particular format of the game. Daniel Bell Drummond for his maiden first class century against Cardiff MCCU in April, Ben Harmison for his century against Gloucestershire in July, and Sam Northeast for his maiden one day hundred in the record Yorkshire Bank 40 run chase against Sussex at Canterbury.

Players to have taken five wickets in a match for the first time during 2013 also received recognition; Adam Riley for his contribution during the Hampshire championship match and Mitch Claydon during the New Zealand Twenty20 fixture.

Kent skipper, James Tredwell received the Fitzgerald Jewellers’ One Day Player of the Year Award. The award is based on votes received during each one day fixture of the season. Tredwell and Stevens have both topped the voting for two matches during 2013, and Head Coach Jimmy Adams therefore identified tie breaker criteria in order to decide on an overall winner.

The Mike Denness Cup, for Kent batsman of the year was awarded to Darren Stevens, the 37 year having finished the season with 1,880 runs across all First Class, List A and Friends Life t20 matches. Stevens eclipsed Rob Key’s 1,754 runs during the final LV= County Championship match of the season when he smashed the ball around The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence, finishing the match on an outstanding total of 205 not out. Despite being three runs short of his career’s best, Stevens has hailed this his “best ever innings”.

Several of the Club’s lead bowlers were vying for the Club’s bowling award, which is based on the entire season’s statistics. Darren Stevens was once again victorious, having taken 51 wickets in all formats across the season. Mark Davies was second with 36 and third placed was Charlie Shreck with 33.

The Alan Ealham Cup, for Fielder of the Year, awarded to the player who took the most outfield catches, was also won by Darren Stevens for his 25 catches across the season. Runners up were Matt Coles with 18 and Sam Billings with 17.

One of the most prestigious awards of the night, the Player of the Season award is voted for by members and supporters of the Club. Voters are asked to select the player they believe has made the greatest contribution to the Club across the entire season. The Club received an overwhelming number of votes for one player, and the winner was – no surprise – Darren Stevens.

The Club’s End of Season Awards close a season which Stevens acknowledged had been challenging for him. Commenting in the lead up to the awards he said; “I’d like to say thank you to everyone who voted for me, and has supported me throughout the year.

“It has been quite a tough year on and off the pitch, but I’ve put a lot of hard work in; I’ve tried my best and I’ve tried to get as many runs and take as many wickets as possible for the lads and the Club. I really do appreciate all the support, thank you.”