County Championship sponsor LV= today launches its 2014 Breakthrough Player award, the accolade that celebrates the next generation of young cricketers in the domestic four-day game.
Ten rising stars have made it onto the longlist for this year’s award including Yorkshire’s Alex Lees. The other candidates are Zafar Ansari (Surrey), Craig Overton (Somerset), Sam Hain (Warwickshire), Ben Cox (Worcestershire), Adam Riley (Kent), Jason Roy (Surrey), Reece Topley (Essex), Lewis Gregory (Somerset) and Will Tavaré (Gloucestershire).
A panel of five judges including former England captain Mike Gatting and ECB performance director David Parsons will then select five players to form the shortlist, before voting is opened to the public to decide the 2014 LV=CC Breakthrough Player. Voting will be available on www.lv.com from the beginning of August.
PCA Chairman and Glamorgan captain Mark Wallace will also be on the panel deciding the shortlist. He commented:
“The County Championship has had an even greater importance this year with the increased changes in the national team, and the LV= Breakthrough Player award is a great way of recognising those who really made their mark for the first time in the competition this year. There is some amazing young talent on this longlist – it’s going to be a tough call.”
Claire Jeromson, LV= Head of Sponsorship, added:
“Our Breakthrough Player award is going strong in its third year. Past winners like Joe Root have gone on to big things in the international game, and this year’s longlist is full of some exciting new talent. It’s also unique in that it allows real county cricket fans to choose and reward the stars of the future.”