Stevens scoops Player of the Year
Stevens scoops Player of the Year

Darren Stevens showed age is but a number as he once again picked up the Kent Cricket Player of the Year award on Thursday evening.

Members of Kent’s men’s and women’s first XIs came together ‘digitally’ to celebrate the Club’s on-field achievements at the 2020 Spitfire Kent Cricket Awards, proudly sponsored by Shepherd Neame.

In an evening hosted by the ‘Voice of Kent Cricket’, Steve Watts, the club looked back together at what was a unique 2020 county season, severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Off-spinner Megan Belt and Scotland international ‘keeper-batter Sarah Bryce scooped two gongs each in the Kent Women awards sponsored by Canterbury Christ Church University.

2020 season signing Bryce came fourth overall in the run charts during Kent Women’s London Championship campaign, her 78 runs in two innings with an impressive strike rate of 93.98 in the 50-over competition saw her claim both Batter of the Year and Player of the Year accolades in her first season with the Horses.

Megan Belt’s four scalps saw her finish as the sixth highest wicket taker in the London Championship, with an economy rate of just 2.80 and average of only 14.00. Her performances saw her take both Bowler of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year, two accolades than Belt also achieved at the 2019 Spitfire Kent Cricket Awards.

Impressive performances in the field during Kent Women’s 2020 season saw Kalea Moore pick up the Fielder of the Year award.

Two new awards were handed out for the first time to Kent’s men’s first XI, with three players all at the start of their Kent careers sharing the accolades.

The newly formed ‘Moment of the Year’ award, celebrating an outstanding achievement on the field, went to Jordan Cox and Jack Leaning’s monumental 423-run partnership against Sussex in the Bob Willis Trophy – the highest batting partnership in the Club’s history, and the highest first-class partnership ever recorded at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence.

Off-spinning all-rounder Marcus O’Riordan claimed the first ‘Emerging Player of the Year’ award after averaging 43.20 with bat and 31.87 with the ball in his first full season in the first team, scoring his maiden first-class 50 against Hampshire at The Spitfire Ground, St. Lawrence in September.

Darren Stevens’ 29 wickets at just 15.58 during the one-off Bob Willis Trophy saw the 44-year-old bag the Bowler of the Year title for 2020, after finishing third in the tournament’s overall Most Wickets table.

Daniel Bell-Drummond won both Batsman of the Year and Spitfire One-Day Player of the Season after his 608 runs across both formats made big contributions to Kent’s performances in both the Bob Willis Trophy and Vitality Blast. His captaincy and fielding alongside his batting average of 46.66 in the Vitality Blast and accolade as the tournament’s top run scorer earned the right-hander the Spitfire One-Day Player of the Season award to complete his trophy haul in 2020.

Jordan Cox’s fielding heroics during the 2020 season, including slip and outfield catches, pinpoint accuracy in run-outs and boundary rope saves, saw him pick up the Fielder of the Year award.

The Club also took time to say goodbye to the players leaving them in 2020. The Kent careers of Sean Dickson, Adam Rouse, Ivan Thomas and Calum Haggett were all celebrated after many years of collective service to the Club.

Zak Crawley’s meteoric rise to stardom in 2020, the year where he: scored a double century in Test cricket, scored his maiden T20 hundred and won PCA Young Player of the Year Award, ended by collecting the Club’s Players’ Player of the Year accolade for the second season in a row, as selected by his fellow players.

The most prestigious award of the evening, the Men’s Club Player of the Year Award, was won by Darren Stevens for the second year in a row, as voted for by the Club’s members and supporters.

Of 1,356 votes in total, Stevens picked up 596 selections and won the award with 44% of the public vote.

Men’s awards winners:

  • Club Player of the Year: Darren Stevens (44% of public vote)
  • Players’ Player of the Year: Zak Crawley
  • Batsman of the Year: Daniel Bell-Drummond
  • Bowler of the Year: Darren Stevens
  • Fielder of the Year: Jordan Cox
  • Emerging Player of the Year: Marcus O’Riordan
  • Moment of the Year: Jordan Cox & Jack Leaning’s Club Record first-class batting partnership
  • Spitfire One-Day Player of the Season: Daniel Bell-Drummond

Women’s awards winners:

  • Club Player of the Year: Sarah Bryce
  • Players’ Player of the Year: Megan Belt
  • Batter of the Year: Sarah Bryce
  • Bowler of the Year: Megan Belt
  • Fielder of the Year: Kalea Moore

 
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