Tuesday, 22 September 2015

The Middle Stump End of Season Awards

It's that time of year again boys and girls. As the nights draw in and the weather turns chillier, we look back at the 2015 season and it is award time. None of these will be found at the PCA night in a couple of weeks, but here are the alternative awards for this year...

Munch's Scream
The George Best Award for stupid things after a beer

With no Andrew Flintoff around these days, and despite the best efforts of Aussie James Faulkner in Manchester, there is only one winner this year. Not many people find international cricketers asleep in the back of their car, but that is exactly what happened to one chap in West Bridgford in Nottingham in August. Brendan Taylor was the unwanted guest who was using this "wagon lit" but everything was sorted out amicably after the police turned up. Who is next at Notts? Samit Hotel?

Feeling sleepy, Brendan?

The Barry Venison Fashion Disaster Award

With Warnie not under Liz Hurley's influence any more, this was won by a late arrival on the scene. All year, the half smooth, half cable knitted jumpers of the England cricket team were walking this award and then with the advent of colder weather, Steven Finn got out his raincoat. When you start getting sledged by a team mate's wife then it has to come to something but we think Karina Murtagh has a point in referring to the England quickie as Inspector Gadget. The Middlesex players are all still laughing as Finny takes this award hands down. I am sure you won't find Finny on the Malan, sorry Milan catwalks this year.

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Inspector Gadget?

The Rory Bremner Impersonation Award

Only one winner this year and that goes without a shadow of doubt to Stuart Broad for his look of shock when Ben Stokes pulled off a sublime diving catch on that morning when the Aussies were bowled all out for 60. The only thing is we don't know if the England opener was depicting Munch's Scream painting or doing a passable impression of the Mayor of Hiroshima in 1945 but the look of shock and astonishment will stay with England cricket fans for a long time.

The Schoolboy Stupidity Award

Things have been tough enough for Worcestershire this year without comical run outs but that is what happened last week against Durham. Their youngsters have plenty to learn and when the two Tom's - Fell and Kohler-Cadmore - were batting they decided to have a chat mid wicket after they thought the ball had gone for four. The only problem was that it stopped short of the fence and the ball was still in play. Unfortunately for the Worcestershire opener, he was stranded mid pitch as a sharp Durham fielder winged the ball in to leave Tom Fell short of his ground. Fell on his own sword?

Fell...schoolboy error

The Herschelle Gibbs Expensive Drop Award

A close second in this category was the chap who returned from the bar at Lord's with a tray of four lagers at five pounds a pop and proceeded to drop the lot outside of the media centre. He may as well have given the twenty quid to a deserving charity, but really there is only one winner and that goes to Brad Haddin. The Aussie fumbler dropped Joe Root second ball in Cardiff and he went on to score 134 as England won the first Test. If the Aussies had gone 1-0 up there who knows what the result could have been? Should have had 'im, Haddin.

The Hungarian Government Closing the Borders Award

Easy one this and it goes to Andrew Strauss. His boss Colin Graves said that the England team was open to everyone and players would be picked on merit. So Kevin Pietersen goes to Surrey, scores a whopping 355 not out against Leicestershire before Mr Strauss says he wouldn't be picked for the England side. Not only did KP achieve the highest score by a Surrey player since 1899, or Brian Lara's 501 in 1994, but then Strauss offers him a consultancy role for the side. Needless to say, Kevin declined his offer.

Gale gets his hands on the trophy at Lord's

The Two Fingers Up to the ECB Award

Andrew Gale, hands down. The Yorkshire skipper was denied lifting the trophy last year after a few words in a local derby with Lancashire's Ashwell Prince. So what does he do? He makes sure that he lifts the trophy this year. Not only that, but the Yorkshire skipper lifted it at Lord's in front of the corridors of power. Fittingly it was Gale who was at the crease when the news came in from Nottinghamshire that Yorkshire had won the league. Gale's lads breezed the title this year as Andrew made sure that last year's ban was just a storm in a Yorkshire Teacup.

The David Gower Champagne Moment of the Season

This one came early in a game at the Parks between Middlesex and Oxford University, and another mention for deserving Middlesex beneficiary Tim Murtagh. As he walked back to the end of his mark, a couple wandered across the outfield. Ignoring protestations from the small crowd to get off the field, the Middlesex seamer then offered the gentleman the ball to which he accepted. A delivery that would have had the ICC inspectors interested as the elbow was bent more than fifteen degrees ensued which also was Scott Boswell-esque in width. Murtagh grabbed the ball back and the couple went on their way. A surreal moment in the professional game.

Enjoy the winter...

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