The Durham CCC Tees Valley Cricket Awards for 2016 were presented at the NYSD ECB Premier League’s dinner in late November when County Head Coach Jon Lewis was on hand to present the trophies to the winners.
The awards, which are open to all cricketing organisations in the Tees Valley region, have been hosted by the NYSD for a number of years now on behalf of Durham, and another packed house filled the Marton Hotel and Country Club to pay tribute to the successful individuals.
Prior to making the presentations Jon Lewis had been introduced to the stage to the backdrop of the song ‘I’ll Stand By You’, most of the near 400 strong audience rising in unison to wave Durham CCC logos specially produced for the occasion and providing an emotional and unique show of support for the County following their recent well documented problems.
Once the noise of the remarkable opening to the awards subsided Marske skipper Lee Hodgson was unveiled as the undisputed winner in the Player of the Year category, the former Surrey and Yorkshire all-rounder having enjoyed a simply staggering summer in which he scored 1724 runs at an average of 80 per knock, that tally including no fewer than 8 centuries and 1 double century with a number of club records shattered along the way. And as if that wasn’t enough he also claimed 40 wickets at an average of 20.
The Emerging Player category recognises youngsters under the age of 18, and this season’s award went to Barnard Castle’s Tom Merryweather who, at just 16 years of age, scored 1207 runs and claimed 58 wickets in all competitions. At junior level alone his displays saw him pick up the NYSD League under 17 player of the year honour to give the talented Barney youngster a double cause for celebration on the night.
For the second year running the Outstanding Services to Cricket Award was given to two individuals who could not be separated. Redcar president and chairman Brian Reeves was honoured alongside Barnard Castle groundsman Steve Dixon, the pair rightfully recognised for many years of dedicated service to their respective clubs.