Australia news March 19, 2014

North named Sheffield Shield player of the year


Marcus North has completed a remarkable turnaround after being dropped by Western Australia last summer, having been named the Sheffield Shield Player of the Year at a ceremony in Canberra. North polled 19 votes to win the award ahead of equal second-placed James Hopes and Ryan Carters on 16 each and young South Australia batsman Travis Head, who finished fourth with 15 votes.

North's win makes it the second consecutive year in which a veteran former Test batsman has taken out the Sheffield Shield title, after Ricky Ponting claimed the honour last summer. The leading run scorer throughout the regular Shield matches with 884 at 68, North's award is all the more impressive given his struggles in 2012-13, when he averaged 15.41 and lost his place in the Shield side.

This season he reinvented himself as an opener and began the summer very strongly, with three centuries in the first four matches. However, the summer became a tragic one for North when his brother Lucas was killed in a road accident in November, which led to some time away from the game.

Now, North has the chance to end the season with a drought-breaking Shield title for Western Australia when they take on New South Wales in the final this week. Western Australia have not played in a Shield final since their triumph in 1998-99 and their success this year was recognised with five players named in the ACA Sheffield Shield Team of the Year.

North was named captain of the side with Adam Voges as vice-captain, while young wicketkeeper Sam Whiteman made the list along with fast bowlers Jason Behrendorff and Michael Hogan. The only New South Wales players in the side were spinner Steve O'Keefe, the leading wicket taker in the competition with 40 at 20.47, and Carters.

Carters finished fourth on the run tally before the final with 789 at 56.35 including three centuries and he shared second place in the Shield voting with Hopes, the Queensland captain. Hopes enjoyed a productive summer all round, particularly with the ball - he picked up 38 Shield wickets at 24.28 and was second only to O'Keefe on the wicket list.

In other awards, Western Australia's Nicole Bolton was named WNCL Player of the Year and Elyse Villani of Victoria took the honour in the WT20. The Ryobi Cup Player of the Year (Cameron White) and the BBL Player of the Tournament (Ben Dunk) had been named earlier in the season.

Sheffield Shield Player of the Year
19 votes - Marcus North (WA)
16 votes - Ryan Carters (NSW)
16 votes - James Hopes (Qld)
15 votes - Travis Head (SA)

WNCL Player of the Year
19 votes - Nicole Bolton (WA)
16 votes - Leah Poulton (NSW)
13 votes - Rachael Haynes (NSW)

WT20 Player of the Year
37 votes - Elyse Villani (Vic)
24 votes - Meg Lanning (Vic)
22 votes - Leah Poulton (NSW)

Other awards Toyota Futures League Player of the Year: Vele Dukoski (ACT); Lord's Taverners Indigenous Cricketer of the Year: Michael Bailey (WA); Cricket Australia Umpire Award: Simon Fry; Benaud Men's Spirit of Cricket Award: Western Australia; Benaud Women's Spirit of Cricket Award: Victoria; Ryobi Cup Player of the Year: Cameron White; BBL Player of the Tournament: Ben Dunk.

ACA Teams of the Year

Sheffield Shield 1 Marcus North (capt), 2 Ryan Carters, 3 Phillip Hughes, 4 Tom Cooper, 5 Adam Voges (vice-capt), 6 Glenn Maxwell, 7 Sam Whiteman, 8 James Hopes, 9 Steve O'Keefe, 10 Jason Behrendorff, 11 Michael Hogan, 12th John Hastings.

Ryobi Cup 1 David Warner, 2 Michael Klinger, 3 Shaun Marsh, 4 Cameron White (capt), 5 Steven Smith (vice-capt), 6 Tom Cooper, 7 Matthew Wade, 8 Sean Abbott, 9 Ben Cutting, 10 Jon Holland, 11 Josh Hazlewood, 12th Usman Khawaja.

Big Bash League 1 Ben Dunk, 2 Aaron Finch (vice-capt), 3 Michael Hussey (capt), 4 Steven Smith, 5 Chris Lynn, 6 Moises Henriques, 7 Tim Paine, 8 Nathan Coulter-Nile, 9 John Hastings, 10 Jackson Bird, 11 Muttiah Muralitharan, 12th Glenn Maxwell.

WNCL 1 Nicole Bolton, 2 Meg Lanning (capt), 3 Beth Mooney, 4 Kate Blackwell (vice-capt), 5 Sarah Elliott, 6 Lauren Ebsary, 7 Alyssa Healy, 8 Ellyse Perry, 9 Erin Osborne, 10 Rene Farrell, 11 Holly Ferling, 12th Jodie Fields.

WT20 1 Meg Lanning (capt), 2 Elyse Villani, 3 Nicole Bolton, 4 Alex Blackwell (vice-capt), 5 Lauren Ebsary, 6 Alyssa Healy, 7 Ellyse Perry, 8 Erin Osborne, 9 Rene Farrell, 10 Kirsten Pike, 11 Kathleen Hempenstall, 12th Delissa Kimmince.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Basil on March 24, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    If a spin bowler can top the wicket list for a First-Class domestic comp in Australia he should be Player of the Year. Oh wait, it's OKeefe .... better give it to someone else. Who should we pick as second spinner for the Pakistan series Mr Invererity? Agar? Beer? Maxwell? Muirhead? Doherty? Or maybe, just maybe the guy who has taken 41 wickets at 20? Maybe the guy with a career average at least 15 runs a wicket better than the next guy? Let's see.....

  • Randolph on March 21, 2014, 23:29 GMT

    How is Phil Hughes not higher in the rankings? It doesn't really matter though as runs do not warrant selection. Expect Shaun Marsh to continue to be selected.

  • Eddie on March 20, 2014, 9:04 GMT

    How is O'Keefe not even amongst the top 4 players in the shield this year? Top wicket taker, and that includes 4 games where his teamate Lyon was first spinner up and bowled much more overs. I would have named him player of the season. He was consistent in every game. If he isnt in the squad for Pakistan, there should be rioting in the streets

  • abhisek on March 20, 2014, 1:59 GMT

    Players like O'Keefe, North and most importantly Phil Hughes should concentrate on being in a good space rather than the mundane tasks of scoring runs and taking wickets

  • James on March 19, 2014, 10:20 GMT

    @Praspunter: That may be true, but who in Australia can? I haven't seen a lot of o'Keefe, but of what i have seen, it looks like straight darts. I would like to see him in the squad though because his figures warrant selection.

    @Beertjie: Even a broken clock is right twice a day. They got a decent partnership in the first test, in the second they got rolled for under a hundred in the first innings. You can always fluke runs, but hardly ever do you fluke wickets. You don't even have to look past our own shores, in the Ashes, our batting wasn't as consistent as we liked it to be but we still won 5-0 because of good bowling. Batting can be covered by good bowling, but you can't go the other way.

    it was bowling that won the test for them against SA not their batting. they are getting better yes, Shezhad and Ali look good along with younus and Misbah and Shafiq, but there are some chinks in the armour there.

  • Mashuq on March 19, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx you take the cake for disingenuous use of stats when you write "Pak have rubbish batsman and the last time Lyon bowled in subcontinental conditions was in India and he got a 7fer. If he picks up where he left off, he should have a ripper of a series" Placed within context, neither is true. Pak batsmen in their "home" conditions were good enough to defeat SA 5 months ago while drawing a series 1-1. When Lyon took his 7fer, India beat us in that game notwithstanding that. Check the match conditions: they were very spin-friendly. As others have pointed out, when batsmen go after him Lyon is quite successful (cf. his debut v Sri Lanka). Imo a judicious balance of reverse swing and attacking spin bowlers (SA used Tahir and Steyn to thrash them in the 2nd test) should work. Mitch, Rhino and Patto/Starc are the reverse bowlers, but whether Lyon can bowl over the wicket into the footmarks like Ajmal will, will partly determine his success. SOK not Muirhead (too early) as 2nd spinn

  • rob on March 19, 2014, 8:34 GMT

    North has seemingly resurrected his career. Such a pity he won't be considered by the selectors but that's life. I suppose it is possible if they thought he might be able to bat at 3, but I don't think they'll do that.

    @ pvck: I like your team. I'd have Doolan at 3. He didn't cover himself in glory in SA but he deserves a longer run in a variety of conditions before final judgement is handed down. .. I'm sick of knee jerk selections. Give him UAE at least.

  • Prasanna on March 19, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    @xtrafalgarx , the thing with Lyon is that, while he does well when the batsmen go after him, seems to lack the penetration required of a front-line offie when we got to bowl out sides in innings #4. We have seen that twice against SA, haven't we ? I will be more than happy if he is able to sort himself out on this front. That's probably the one that will go against him.

  • Edwin on March 19, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    Not sure why he's labelled a 'veteran' Test player - he's younger than Rogers, and Haddin, the same age as Harris, and just 2 yrs older that Watson and Clarke!!

  • wayne on March 19, 2014, 7:47 GMT

    It's such a long time between now and the UAE tour - are we expecting a round of Shield to be squeezed in before then? Hopefully a few of the lads head over to play some County and press their cases - six months is a long time to maintain form without actually playing!

  • No featured comments at the moment.