Gary Ballance was today named Members’ Player of the Year for 2019.
Ballance, a linchpin of Yorkshire’s batting unit, scored four centuries in the first four Specsavers County Championship Division One matches, meaning it was five in a row dating back to the final match of last season against Worcestershire at New Road.
The Zimbabwe-born 29-year-old, a two-time County Championship winner, has scored 1,283 runs across all three formats in 2019 and was the clear winner of a poll of over 1500 Members and supporters. Ballance gained 30% of the vote, with overseas spinner Keshav Maharaj (19%), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (13%) and Jonny Tattersall (9%).
The award was presented in the Long Room and in front of the Club’s Members in a break from recent tradition, where previously it was awarded on the night of the annual Gala Dinner.
Ballance signed Academy terms with Yorkshire ahead of the 2008 season and has amassed 11,276 First-Class runs in 158 appearances. He signed a new contract until the end of 2021 in March, scoring six hundreds and four fifties across all three formats since.
His 148 against Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl in April contributed to an innings victory, while his 159 in the second innings against Kent at Canterbury also helped to secure a win. In mid-July, he scored a fifth four-day ton of the season in a landslide victory over pre-game Division One leaders Somerset at Emerald Headingley.
He currently has 969, 205 more than Adam Lyth – the Club’s second top-scorer for 2019 – and is second only in the County Championship to Warwickshire’s Dom Sibley who has exactly 1,000 at the time of writing.
Director of Cricket, Martyn Moxon, added: “It has been a fantastic season for Gary and he has been the glue, if you like, among what is a fairly young batting line-up in the County Championship so he fully deserves his award. He’s a very fine player, he’s unflappable, willing to invest time at the crease when he has to and build an innings. When he gets in he’s got that ability to go on and get big scores and that’s what all the best players do.
“It goes down as one of the highlights of your career. If you can be named Members’ Player of the Year, you know you’re doing something right.”
Maharaj, who finished second in the voting, enjoyed a sensational five-game stint in the Specsavers County Championship, taking 38 wickets and adding two fifties, contributing hugely to three wins.
Kohler-Cadmore, who captained the Vikings in all but one Vitality Blast North Group fixture, led the way with 435 runs, Yorkshire’s fourth best haul in a campaign since the competition’s inception in 2003. He scored three fifties in the Royal London one-day Cup, also taking 36 catches across all formats, the majority coming at first slip in the Championship.
Wicket-keeper batsman Tattersall has produced some assured batting performances and averages 32.77 in First-Class cricket. He continues to impress in his first full season with the gloves.