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An insight into the 2012 Player of the Year Awards Evening - by Jake Needham

The annual Derbyshire County Cricket Club Player of the Year Awards Evening was naturally a celebratory affair given the extraordinary achievements of the playing and coaching staff throughout the summer of 2012.

The evening began with messages of congratulations delivered from Chief Executive Simon Storey and Chairman Chris Grant, to all members of the playing and coaching staff for their efforts in securing promotion as well as the LV=County Championship Division 2 title.

The recipient of the night’s most cherished award - the Player of the Year Award - went fittingly to club captain Wayne Madsen.

The standing ovation that greeted Madsen’s ascent to the podium to collect this distinction shows just how highly regarded his season tally of 1269 runs were by supporters and peers, as well as the incalculable effect that his calm and measured captaincy style has impacted on a young and vibrant squad in claiming LV=CC glory.

There was also recognition for the one day achievements of Wes Durston and Mark Turner who were made Friends Life t20 and CB40 players of the year respectively. Despite a limited overs campaign that often flattered to deceive, the performances of both individuals during the summer, made them the stand out contenders for their awards.

The prestigious LV=County Championship Player of the Year went to the absent Tony Palladino, whose recorded video message paid homage to his team mates who had helped him achieve the highly impressive tally of 56 first class wickets at fewer than 25 runs apiece. He also claimed the honourable distinction of being the first man since Kevin Dean in 2000 to take a first-class hat-trick.

The Eddie Barlow inspirational achievement award, which was once again presented to the winner by the late Derbyshire captain’s widow, went to Dan Redfern for his half century in the second innings against Kent at the County Ground in early August. With the match at a tense juncture, Redfern’s innings was the catalyst for another Derbyshire victory, and a result that really underlined the county’s promotion aspirations.

The Most improved player award this year went to Tom Poynton, who, in his first full season behind the stumps as the first XI’s wicket keeper, had a hand in 57 of the team’s dismissals, as well as making two half centuries alongside his maiden first class hundred, when, in combination with his skipper Wayne Madsen he shared in an incredible 261 run partnership for the 9th wicket.

Both Academy honours (best player and performance) went to Peter Burgoyne, who was this year’s success story from the junior ranks, performing ably when given his chance to showcase his talents at first team level.

Special mention was also made to Peter Long, who retired after 19 years associated with the cricket club, as well as recognising the contribution of Keith Loring as outgoing Chief Executive for developments made at the club throughout his tenure.

But as the final speech of the evening fell fittingly for Wayne Madsen to deliver, the message was of thanks to his team mates, congratulations on myriad achievements throughout a pulsating season, and a call to his charges to make the same event in 12 months time, just as memorable.

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