Hat-trick for Leach as Maynard extends contract

TRIPLE WINNER: Left arm spinner Jack Leach crowned a superb season with three awards.

A SOLD OUT County Room at the Cooper Associates County Ground staged the Somerset Cricket Club’s Annual Awards Dinner last Friday.

More than 200 people were in attendance to enjoy a four course dinner and find out who had scooped the 2016 Somerset County Cricket Club awards.
Club President Richard Parsons presented the Champagne Moment Award to James Hildreth following his heroics against Nottinghamshire when the batsman made an incredible century despite suffering a fractured ankle early on in his innings.
Tom Abell was then presented with the Community Player of the Year Award for his outstanding work for the Club off the field.

Dom Bess was the winner of the Tom Pearce Award for the Second XI/Academy Player of the Year.  He received his trophy from Richard Biggs, Headmaster of Kings College.
Next up was the Supporters Player of the Year award which went to Jack Leach.

Roelof van der Merwe picked up the White Ball Player of the Year Award before Leach collected his second award of the evening the County Championship Player of the Year trophy.
Marcus Trescothick was presented with a Special Achievement Award from Director of Cricket Matt Maynard to commemorate the fact that Marcus has broken the Club record for the most First Class catches.
Finally, it was left to Leach to complete his hat-trick when he received the 2016 Player of the Season to a standing ovation.

There more news from the evening with confirmation that Director of Cricket Matt Maynard has signed a two year extension to his contract.

Maynard joined the County in 2014 and his new deal will see him stay at the helm until at least the end of the 2019 season. Under his guidance Somerset finished second in the Specsavers County Championship and reached the semi-finals of the Royal London One-Day Cup in the season just completed.

Maynard said: “I’ve felt at home since the moment that I joined the Club and I’m delighted to have signed this extension.  I’m looking forward to taking this project forward as far as possible.  It’s a unique club that covers a wide area with a huge catchment and I’m particularly pleased with how we have developed our relationships with Devon and Cornwall. It’s great to see the young lads coming through and it’s about helping the young players develop their game and their philosophies to ensure that they can be as good as they can be.”

“It has also been brilliant to see the senior players continuing to perform at their very best and it’s going to be exciting to see if we can go that one step further in the Specsavers County Championship and Royal London One-Day Cup as well as improving in the NatWest T20 Blast.”

After signing his extension Maynard also praised the Somerset Members and supporters: “They are extremely knowledgeable and hugely passionate out their cricket club,” he said: ““It’s brilliant when we pick a young player who is from the area because the ovation that they get is terrific even before they take a wicket or get some runs. It’s just because they have come through the system here. We are so grateful for that kind of support. I think the supporters are right behind exactly what we are trying to build and achieve here.”

Sports Editor | Covering the whole of the Pulman’s/View From group of titles.
Howard has been covering sport in the East Devon, South Somerset and West Dorset region since 2007.