Yorkshire County Cricket Club batsmen Gary Ballance and Joe Root, were today announced to be among the shortlist of six players in the running for the inaugural LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player Award.
The award is being launched by LV=, the title sponsor of crickets County Championship, and aims to celebrate the most promising young player in the county game this season.
Ballance and Root’s competition includes Lancashire’s Simon Kerrigan, Surrey fast bowler Stuart Meaker, Derbyshire top order batsman Dan Redfern and Kent all rounder Matt Coles.
The award will acknowledge the best young talent in the LV= County Championship and confirms the sponsor’s support for a competition that is the bedrock of the domestic game as well as a breeding ground for the next generation of English cricketers.
An esteemed four-man panel selected the shortlist of six players for the award based on their performances in the LV= County Championship, so far this season.
The panel comprised LV= ambassador and ex-England bowler Darren Gough, former England captain and current managing director of partnerships at the ECB Mike Gatting, PCA chairman and Worcestershire batsman Vikram Solanki and cricket writer John Stern.
Commenting on the new award, LV=’s head of sponsorship, Claire Jeromson said: “We wanted this award to identify and champion the best young talent that is playing in the LV= County Championship. The competition continues to be the proving ground for the next crop of England players and with the standard of the domestic game improving each season, it is important to recognise these promising young players.”
Mike Gatting added: “It’s been a great county championship season so far, and these six players really stood out for the panel. I sincerely hope that these players continue to perform, and go on to play for England Lions and England in the coming years.”
To vote for your LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player and be in with a chance of winning a signed England bat visit www.LV.com/cricket when voting opens on the 9th August 2012.
Voting closes on Sunday 2nd September, with the winner due to be announced on Wednesday 5th September. The player with the highest number of nominations will receive a commemorative TAG Heuer watch engraved to recognise their achievement, plus a £1,000 donation to a grassroots cricket initiative of their choice.