A host of graduates from the MCC Universities programme have been in fine form this summer and as a result, have picked up a variety of different awards as the season has drawn to a close.
No fewer than eight former MCCU players have picked up awards at their respective counties, whilst one former player, Rory Burns, has enjoyed a fantastic season which culminated in a call-up to the England Test squad for their winter tour of Sri Lanka.
Burns, formerly of Cardiff MCCU, captained Surrey to the Specsavers County Championship title, their first since 2002, and claimed their Player of the Year Award for his 1,359 Championship runs.
The 28 year-old was also named in the Greene King Team of the Year at the PCA Awards, and won the Cricket Writers’ Club County Championship Player of the Year Award.
Burns was one of five former Cardiff players to triumph in various end of season awards around the county circuit.
Glamorgan pair Kiran Carlson and Jeremy Lawlor were awarded the Young Player and Second Eleven Player Awards respectively. Carlson hit 567 Championship and 295 Vitality Blast runs for the Welsh county, whilst Lawlor scored 667 runs and took 35 wickets across all formats for their Second Eleven.
Alex Thomson, who signed a first professional contract with Warwickshire last November, was named the Bears’ Second Eleven Player of the Year, having scored over 900 runs, including three centuries, and taken 51 wickets. He also showed his prowess with the ball on his first-team T20 debut, taking 4 for 35 against Lancashire, and earned a one-year contract extension.
Left-arm spinner Aron Nijjar completes the Cardiff quintet, having been named Essex’s Second Eleven Player of the Year for his 65 wickets and 576 runs with the bat.
Nijjar wasn’t the only former MCCU student receiving an award at Chelmsford, as seamer Sam Cook, once of Loughborough MCCU, enjoyed a fine season to claim the Young Player of the Year Award. Cook’s Championship form, having helped Essex to the title in 2017, was strong once again with his haul of 5 for 28 against Yorkshire one of the highlights.
Sam Billings, another Loughborough graduate, captained Kent to promotion to Division One of the Specsavers County Championship but it was his form in the shortest format that earned him recognition as he was named their T20 Player of the Year, with the Spitfires reaching the Vitality Blast quarter-finals. He scored 372 runs in the competition and averaged 53.14 in the process.
Seamer Matt Salisbury, a graduate of Cambridge MCCU, enjoyed a superb year for Durham and was named their Breakthrough Player of the Year. The 25 year-old began the season on the books of the MCC Young Cricketers before initially signing for Durham on a one-month loan deal. After taking seventeen wickets in his first three Championship outings for the club, he signed a permanent contract with them in June and finished the season with 44 scalps.