Yorkshire and England star Harry Brook became just the second winner of the Bob Willis Trophy – to recognise England’s player of the year, male or female, while there was recognition for an array of talents in the 2023 Cricket Writers’ Club awards.
Brook received the award, named after the outstanding former England fast bowler and broadcaster, just two years after being voted the CWC’s Young Cricketer of the Year, following a run of impressive innings for the Test team, as well as helping England win the 2022 T20 World Cup.
All the awards were presented at the Cricket Writers’ Club Annual Awards Lunch at the London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, on Monday, November 27.
Brook followed Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow to become just the second winner of this award, voted for by the CWC’s membership.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed an impressive start to his Test career, with four hundreds in 12 matches, including a best of 186 against New Zealand in Wellington in February, while a 41-ball century in The Hundred helped force his way into England’s squad for the World Cup.
“I think the T20 World Cup just tops it to be honest.” said Brook. “To have won a World Cup, to have played in an Ashes series and to have experienced some of the things I have this year is a dream come true.
“Coming out on top there was the one. Obviously the Ashes was amazing, but with that rain in Manchester we didn’t manage to seal that victory. It was still an amazing experience and a dream come true to have done what I have over the last 12 months.
“It has been the most enjoyable time of my life so far to be honest. The way we’ve gone out there and tried to play our cricket has been really fun.”
For the second year in a row, Nat Sciver-Brunt won the Women’s Cricket Award, in association with JM Finn, following her remarkable exploits during an Ashes series where England fought back to end the campaign all square at 8-8.
James Rew won the NV Play Young Cricketer of the Year, the club’s oldest award (dating back to 1950), following a breakthrough season with Somerset where the 19-year-old wicketkeeper scored over 1,000 runs in Division One of the County Championship, including five hundreds.
Alex Lees was named the LV County Championship Player of the Year after a prolific campaign where the Durham batsman scored more than 1,300 runs, including five centuries, at an average of over 70.
Meanwhile Lauren Filer was chosen as the Club’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year, an award that recognises a rising star of the women’s game, after making both her Test and ODI debuts for England this year, with the fast bowler the leading wicket-taker in a three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Alfie Pyle, from the England Learning Disability team, was named the Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricketer of the Year.
The Peter Smith Award for outstanding presentation of cricket to the public went to the BBC broadcaster Kevin Howells, while the Derek Hodgson Book Award was given to Nicholas Brookes for ‘An Island’s Eleven’, a history of Sri Lankan cricket.
Full list of winners:
• Bob Willis Trophy for England Player of the Year, sponsored by Smile Group Travel – Harry Brook
• JM Finn Women’s Cricket Award – Nat Sciver-Brunt
• NV Play Young Cricketer of the Year – James Rew
• LV Insurance County Championship Player of the Year – Alex Lees
• Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Lauren Filer
• Peter Smith Award – Kevin Howells
• Derek Hodgson Book Award – Nicholas Brookes for “An Island’s Eleven”
• Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricketer of the Year – Alfie Pyle
CWC Chair Dean Wilson, said: “Huge congratulations to all our award winners who were rightly celebrated at a fantastic event for more than 320 members and guests.
“Players such as Harry Brook and Lauren Filer have entertained us all in a memorable year for the game while the story of Alfie Pyle’s progression from Super 1s to the England learning disability team is a triumph.”