Alastair Cook has been named the Cricket Writers’ Club Bob Willis Trophy Player of Year after guiding Essex to victory in the Bob Willis Trophy.
The former England Captain ended the campaign as the leading run scorer in the competition, with 563 runs at an average of 56.30. He scored 2 centuries along the way, with the first coming in the draw with Hampshire at Arundel Castle Cricket Ground, and the second coming in the Final against Somerset at Lord’s.
The 172 he scored at The Home of Cricket helped Essex achieve a first innings lead, which proved to be the decisive factor as Tom Westley lifted the trophy despite the match ending in a draw.
The 35-year-old becomes the second Essex player to win the award in as many years, succeeding Simon Harmer, who also had a memorable red-ball campaign.
Speaking to the Cricket Writers’ Club on his award, Cook said: “It was a great year actually. I was very sceptical to start with. I thought a five-match tournament, six with the Final, I didn’t think it would work. I was totally and utterly wrong, it was a brilliant tournament.
“Every game mattered and because there were no Overseas players, because counties had a ‘free shot’ with no relegation, everyone could win it and Clubs backed their own youngsters. Certainly at Essex, someone like Paul Walter came in and took his chance. In Tom Lammonby, Somerset have unearthed yet another very good left-hander.
“The icing on the cake was to play in a Lord’s Final. They kicked us out at about 9pm and we had a lively bus journey home. I know everyone’s said it, but it’s such a shame that this season there were no crowds, I reckon that Lord’s Final would have been sold-out. It was a great game of cricket. You never get bored (of that feeling) when you’ve contributed to a win and hopefully with Essex we can continue our four-day stuff.”