Guptill caps stellar season Player of the Year award for Auckland

Martin Guptill’s rise to the top of the cricketing totem pole has been meteoric and his outstanding performances over the course of the season were recognized last night as he was named State Auckland Cricketer of the Year and the winner of the John Bentham Memorial Trophy at the Auckland Cricket Awards Dinner.

Guptill’s season has gone from the pain of a dislocated knee in October to the highs of becoming a Blackcaps regular by season’s end. His debut performance of 122 not out against the West Indies signalled the arrival of a cricketer that was very much at home on the international stage.

His performances since then have been no less impressive with innings in all three forms of the game inspiring respect and excitement amongst commentators and fans alike about his future in the game. Martin’s season has been a spectacular one and it is fitting that he should end with the highest award that Auckland Cricket has to offer. 

Guptill was just one of many award winners on a night where Auckland Cricket honoured those individuals who have excelled over the course of the season.

Other winners last evening were:

Men’s Batsman of the Year – Reece Young (Suburbs New Lynn)

Over the last two years Reece Young has begun to deliver on the promise he always showed as a batsman and this season may well be remembered as his watershed year as he totalled 902 runs across all competitions including three centuries. Reece has always been recognised for his exceptional skill behind the stumps, but over the last two seasons his batting has developed to that stage where he is now a worthy recipient of this award. This year he scored consistently in all competitions and significantly had the highest aggregate runs for the Aces in both the State Championship and State Shield competitions.

Men’s Bowler of the Year – Daryl Tuffey (Suburbs New Lynn)

It was uncertain at the beginning of the summer as to whether Daryl Tuffey would be playing for the Aces this season following his decision to play in the ICL competition in India. The Aces can be very glad that he did decide to play as his bowling just got better and better throughout the year as he captured 27 wickets in the State Championship and a further 11 in the State Shield. There is no higher praise than that of your fellow players and the talk in both the Aces and their opposition was that Daryl Tuffey was back to his lethal best and starting to bowl once again as he did when he was the main strike weapon for the Black Caps. That was great news for the Aces and he formed the backbone of our attack through both the State Championship and State Shield seasons.

Women’s Batsman of the Year – Victoria Lind (North East)

Victoria enjoyed a solid summer for the Hearts during a season when runs were hard to come by. With 215 runs in the State League and a further 105 in the State League Twenty20 she was top run scorer for the Hearts and had a highest score of 91. Having lived in the shadow of Rebecca Rolls for many years with both the bat and the keeping gloves, Victoria Lind is now emerging as one of the key senior members of the Hearts and this year she made many valuable contributions with the bat. The side now relies on her heavily and her continued development should see her as a regular member of the White Ferns in the years ahead.

Women’s Bowler of the Year – Prashilla Mistry (South East)

The extra responsibility of leading the Hearts attack does not seem to have weighed too heavily on Prashilla as she enjoyed another good season taking 16 wickets in the State League at an average of 21 and a further five wickets in the State Twenty20. A repeat winner, Prashilla is now clearly the cornerstone of the Hearts attack and has shouldered this responsibility well at a young age. Once again she led the attack with skill and aggression and, if she continues to develop, her opportunity to establish a permanent place in the White Ferns should not be far away.

Accor International Cricketer of the Year – Martin Guptill (Suburbs New Lynn)

Martin’s ODI debut against the West Indies at Eden Park was quite simply ‘boys own annual stuff.’ He batted with a maturity beyond his years and made an indelible impression on anyone who witnessed the innings – an innings which was incidentally the 2nd best ODI debut innings in the history of the game behind one Desmond Haynes. Martin then followed on from this innings with some dazzling strokeplay against both Australia and the India.

Young Cricketer of the Year – Colin de Grandhomme (Howick Pakuranga)

Colin has been a previous nominee for this award and is an obvious candidate in his last season as an ‘under 23’ player. He certainly did not play like an ‘emerging player’ as he enjoyed a stellar year for the Aces with both the bat and the ball. He was nominated for the bowler of the year award and in any other year his 500 runs in the State Championship would surely have also earned him a nomination as batsman of the year. With 732 runs and 29 wickets across all competitions Colin would have been a certainty for the all rounder award for the Aces if we had one and is a very worthy winner of the Young Cricketer of the Year Award.

Representative Coach of the Year – Matt Horne and Paul Strang

Paul Strang and Matt Horne co-coached the Auckland A side to glory in the national tournament at Lincoln, and then when Mark O’Donnell was called to higher honours with the Black Caps they again worked in combination, this time with Paul as Head Coach and Matt as assistant, to lead the Aces through an incredible finishing run of three outright victories before defeating the Central Stags in the State Championship final.

Special Awards

ICC Centenary Awards – This year the International Cricket Council is celebrating 100 years of managing the global game. In recognition of the contribution volunteers make to cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is awarding 1000 Centenary Medals to volunteers around the world who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to the game and have gone beyond the call of duty in the name of cricket.

As part of this initiative, the ICC has asked New Zealand Cricket to identify 50 individuals within this country that fulfil these criteria in terms of their selfless and longstanding contribution to cricket in New Zealand. Eight of these 50 have come from the Auckland region and we are delighted to honour them tonight.

Ces Renwick

A tireless worker for over 40 years in the area of grounds and also currently Patron of the Auckland Cricket Association.

Chris Gillies

For as long as anyone can remember Chris Gillie ran the wonderful Primary Schoolboys Christmas tournament and more recently he has be an invaluable match day helper at Eden Park.

Arthur Lennan

A legendary figure around the Primary Schoolboys tournament where for over thirty years he compiled all the statistics.

Peter McDermott

Peter has pretty much done everything there is to do in New Zealand Cricket. He has worked tirelessly for his beloved University club, been Chairman of Auckland Cricket and finally Chairman of New Zealand Cricket.

Linda Pritchard

Women’s Cricket has come a long way in Auckland and much of that progress is due to the next recipient. She was instrumental in the bringing together of the women’s and men’s games under the banner of Auckland Cricket and helped run the game for many years.

Ray Hopkins

Instrumental in the creation of the Auckland Cricket Junior Advisory Board and a guiding hand for so many years at the Cornwall Cricket Club Ray has also served as President of the Auckland Cricket Association.

Rex Smith

Another Cornwall stalwart who has served both his club and Auckland Cricket as a Selector, Coach and Administrator. He is currently in his second term as Chairman of Auckland Cricket.

John Corner

John’s contribution has covered several areas but most notably umpiring. He stood in club cricket for many years before then becoming an umpire assessor and more recently he has been a tireless match day volunteer at Eden Park.

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