A summer where Western Storm emerged victorious on Kia Super League Finals Day and Gloucestershire’s Women won promotion in their own T20 competition were among the highlights at the 2017 Awards Dinner.
More than 100 guests, including players, staff, sponsors and supporters, gathered to reflect on a frenetic year with a new structure in county cricket and with, in addition, Gloucestershire hosting no fewer than 11 international matches, a workload which saw the ground staff at the Brightside Ground being given the Spirit of Cricket Award for their tireless efforts.
Trevor Griffin, head coach of the Western Storm, said it was special for the girls to beat the Southern Vipers and lift the KSL Trophy 12 months after being beaten by the same opposition. He also praised the contribution of the squad’s non-international players, and in particular opening bowler Claire Nicholas who was voted as the Supporters Player of the Year.
A win over Devon by one run was singled out by Steve Dent, the Gloucestershire Women’s head coach, as the key result as they now move up to play Division 2 T20 cricket in 2018. Once again the runs of Abby Evans were a constant on the scorecard – she won the batting award for the second year running – and 10 wins out of 11 was an impressive record. A local derby with Somerset is among the fixtures which will be new next summer.
A rise in the quality of opposition was one of Richard Dawson’s main points as he summed up Gloucestershire third successive sixth placed finish in the County Championship, and a below par year in white ball cricket. Against the likes of Nottinghamshire, Sussex, Northants and Durham he felt Gloucestershire had been competitive, especially at home, but the challenge remained to achieve those standards consistently throughout the team and across a long season. He re-iterated his belief that the potential to do so was within the squad, and that it was the collective responsibility of the playing department to fulfil it.
Four players – James Bracey (652) Oli Currill (653), Chris Liddle (654) and George Drissell (655) all recieved their county caps, Drissell also winning the Academy Player of the Year Award.
Ian Cockbain’s maiden one day century at Lord’s in the Royal London Cup against Middlesex took the John Higson Memorial Award, and Liam Norwell was voted as the Player’s Player of the Year after a season where he took 59 Championship wickets. Unsurprisingly, he was also named Bowler of the Year with Jack Taylor’s increased contribution in the middle order enough to make Batsman of the Year.
Chief Executive Will Brown confirmed that two young players, Patrick Grieshaber and Brandon Gilmour, would be leaving the club in the closed season and that long serving physiotherapist Steve Griffin had accepted a new role at the ECB. All three would leave with the good wishes of the club.
A full list of the awards is set out below :
*Batsman of the Year – Jack Taylor
*Bowler of the Year – Liam Norwell
*St Austell Brewery Players Player of the Year – Liam Norwell
*Young Player of the Year – James Bracey
*Academy Player of the Year – George Drissell
*John Higson Memorial Award (best one-day performance) – Ian Cockbain
*Spirit of Cricket Award – The Brightside ground staff
*Gloucestershire Womens XI Player of the Year – Abby Evans
*Gloucestershire Womens XI Bowler of the Year – Danielle Gibson
*Gloucestershire Womens XI Batsman of the Year – Abby Evans
*Western Storm Bowler of the Year – Stefanie Taylor
*Western Storm Batsman of the Year – Rachel Priest
*Western Storm Supporters Player of the Year – Claire Nicholas