Carseldine 'movie' now stars Ian Healy Trophy
There were times when Lee Carseldine was so sick with a back injury he couldn't even consider playing cricket again. Slowly, painfully and successfully, he recovered and on Friday night capped his unbelievable rise with the Ian Healy Trophy as Queensland's player of the year.
The tale is so impressive Matthew Hayden thinks a movie should be made about it. "The last time I had a good chance to see Lee was in Melbourne when he was lying paralysed from the waist down and was basically on death's door," Hayden said. "To come back and rattle the cage of Queensland and Australian cricket is a phenomenal story."
Carseldine, the 33-year-old left-hander, missed three years with the injury and was not sure if he was ever going to be able to play again. "I wasn't a huge wreck, but I was close to it," he said. "The Australian Cricketers' Association really looked after me when I was out of cricket. I am in their debt."
He said it was a huge honour to join previous Ian Healy Trophy winners such as Michael Kasprowicz, Andy Bichel, Ashley Noffke and Stuart Law. "I've loved playing for Queensland my whole life, since the juniors," he said. "They've always looked after me and given me time."
Over the past season Carseldine picked up 595 runs in the Sheffield Shield, 477 in the FR Cup at 43.36 and an incredible 298 in the Twenty20 competition, averaging 99.33 at a strike-rate of 134.84. The returns earned him a start with the Indian Premier League team Rajasthan Royals and gained him a host of accolades at national and state level. He also gained the Bulls' Twenty20 and players' player prizes at the awards ceremony in Brisbane.
Chris Hartley, the wicketkeeper, was the Sheffield Shield player of the year for his season of 524 runs, including two centuries, 52 catches and two stumpings. During the summer he joined Rod Marsh and Adam Gilchrist as the only players to have scored a century and gloved ten dismissals in a match, and set a record by not giving up a bye in Victoria's total of 8 for 806 declared. Ben Laughlin, who is with the Australian team in South Africa, was the FR Cup player of the year while Jodie Fields won the Queensland Fire prize.
The retired Bichel, Hayden and Martin Love were recognised for their outstanding careers and Bichel's next engagement is a stint as bowling coach with the Kolkata Knight Riders. Queensland Cricket's chairman Damien Mullins also confirmed the loss of Shane Watson to New South Wales for next season.
Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo