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March 19, 2014
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 hereFeeds: Brydon Coverdale
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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