Blackpool all-rounder Croft is Lancashire Player of the Year

First published in Blackpool CC

Steven Croft has been named the Thwaites Lancaster Bomber Player of the Year at Lancashire County Cricket Club's End of Season Gala Dinner held at Old Trafford.

The 23-year old all-rounder from Blackpool was immense for Lancashire this season, playing in more matches than any other player and in the process scoring his maiden first-class century (122 v Nottinghamshire at Old Trafford).

It was a busy evening for Croft, who also picked up the Hill Dickinson One-Day Player of the Year Award.

After a slow start in the Friends Provident Trophy, he came into his own during the Lightning’s Twenty20 Cup campaign and more recently in the NatWest Pro40 League. Lancashire supporters certainly won't forget his superb all-round display against Notts Outlaws at Trent Bridge, which saw the county win by one run and Croft finishing on 68* and taking 33-3.

Lancashire cricket manager Mike Watkinson was full of praise for the boy from Blackpool; “Steven continues to grow as an all-round cricketer. He has made important contributions with bat and ball including his maiden first-class century against Nottinghamshire.

“One of our aims for 2008 was to significantly improve our fielding, and Steven along with a couple of others made sure this has happened. What’s even more pleasing, is that Steven was part of the first Lancashire Academy intake; a system that is not only identifying the best local talent, but producing outstanding cricketers.”

Lancashire stalwart Glen Chapple who was named University of Salford Championship Player of the Year. Chapple missed six weeks of season with a groin-injury, but still took 42 Championship wickets at 20.50, and averaged 26.18 with the bat.

Other winners on the evening included, Tom Smith who was named HS Admin Young Player of the Year, and Francois Du Plessis, who’s phenomenal catch to dismiss Middlesex’ batsman Ben Scott during the Twenty20 Quarter-Final at The Oval was judged the New Balance Champagne Moment of the Year.

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