SKYCITY Northern Knights pace bowler Brent Arnel became a back-to-back winner of both the Northern Districts Bowler of the Year title and the supreme Cricketer of the Year award at ND's 25th annual season awards gala, held at SKYCITY Hamilton.
Arnel thanked his team-mates and vowed to be back next year after a season in which he was the equal top wicket-taker nationally in the Plunket Shield with 45 wickets. Arnel bowled an impressive 439 overs this season in conditions that often favoured batting. He played 26 of the Knights' 28 matches, and took 65 wickets across all three formats, including two first-class five-fors.
Other major awards went to Northern Spirit Player of the Year Natalie Dodd, who scored three consecutive unbeaten centuries among her record-breaking four centuries in the women's national One-Day Competition. Remarkably for an opening bat, Dodd was dismissed only four times in 10 innings, with two half-centuries in addition to her four unbeaten centuries.
21-year-old Daryl Mitchell was named Batsman of the Year in his breakthrough season and the trophy he collected last year as Young Player of the Year went this season to exciting 20-year-old leg spin bowler Ish Sodhi. Sodhi played in all 10 Plunket Shield games this season and took 20 wickets, including his maiden five-wicket bag. He showed his all-round ability by scoring three half-centuries. This award can only be won once by a player, with recent winners including Kane Williamson, Tim Southee, BJ Watling, Trent Boult, Anurag Verma and Andrew Mathieson.
Special presentations were made to retiring Knight James Marshall, who was also awarded the trophy for Fieldsman of the Year for the third consecutive year; and to Corey Anderson and Daniel Flynn for their record Plunket Shield fourth wicket partnership at Seddon Park, and to Brad Wilson and Daniel Flynn for their record Plunket Shield second wicket partnership.
It was a notable season for the Knights with James Marshall (most runs), Graeme Aldridge (most wickets) and Daniel Flynn (most centuries) all breaking or extending all-time ND first-class records.
Natalie Dodd and Nicola Browne won the Northern Spirit Outstanding Performance Award, sponsored by Sure Trade Building, recognising the achievement of Dodd and Browne in setting a New Zealand record 3rd wicket partnership of 236 v Wellington at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui. Both players scored centuries, Browne dismissed in the last over for 115 and Dodd remaining not out on 106.
ND A Player of the Year: Jono Hickey (Counties-Manukau)
ND Districts Player of the Year: Cody Andrews (Northland)
Umpire of the Year: John Dempsey (Counties-Manukau)
Allan McBride Trophy: Ben O'Brien-Leaf (service to junior cricket, Poverty Bay)
Service to Cricket Award: Richard Yates (Eastern Bay of Plenty)
Basil McBurney Trophy: Hamilton (champion Development team)
Eric Petrie Cup: Kaipara Flats (champion Club)
Women's District Association Champion Cup: Poverty Bay
Brian Dunning Cup and Fergus Hickey Rosebowl: Bay of Plenty (District Associations one-day and two-day champion).