Northants star Duckett named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Year for 2016

BACK WITH THE LADS - Ben Duckett (bottom right) pictured at the Northants pre-season media day on Wednesday (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)
BACK WITH THE LADS - Ben Duckett (bottom right) pictured at the Northants pre-season media day on Wednesday (Picture: Kirsty Edmonds)

Northants batsman Ben Duckett has been named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the Year for his brilliant performances throughout 2016.

Duckett has been honoured in the 154th edition of the famous Almanack, which is ‘the cricketers’ bible’, and is published on Thursday.

The left-hander scored an incredible 2,706 runs in all cricket last summer, which was the highest tally in an English season since former England opener, and fellow left-hander, Marcus Trescothick scored 2,934 in 2009.

Duckett starred for Northants in all formats of the game, with a highlight his matchwinning 84 in the semi-final of the NatWest Trophy T20 Blast at Edgbaston in August.

He also shone for the England Lions in their mid-summer tri-nations series - including unbeaten innings of 220 and 162 - and then for England in the one-day international series in Bangladesh in the autumn.

The strokemaker hit two half-centuries as England won that series, and was rewarded with a place in England’s Test team as they started their tour of India.

On that tour Duckett, who became only the 24th Northants player to represent England in Tests, scored his maiden half-century in the second match, before losing his place as England struggled badly.

Duckett is the first Northants player to be named one of Wisden’s five players of the year since Monty Panesar, who was on the list in 2006.

Indeed, Duckett becomes only the 14th County player to be honoured in this way while on the playing staff at the County Ground.

The others are George Thompson (1905 – the County’s first season in first-class cricket), Vallance Jupp (1927), Fred Bakewell (1933), George Tribe (1954), Frank Tyson (1955), Dennis Brookes (1956), Raman Subba Row (1960), Colin Milburn (1966), David Steele (1975), Allan Lamb (1980), Curtly Ambrose (1991), Anil Kumble (1995) and Panesar (2006).

Other players who haved represented Northants, such as Freddie Brown, Mushtaq Mohammad, Peter Lee, Matthew Hayden and Graeme Swann, have all been named Wisden Cricketers of the Year either before joining or after leaving the club.

The Wisden award can be added to the prestigious player of the year awards Duckett received from the Cricket Writers’ Club and the Professional Cricketers’ Association at the end of the season.

Wisden is edited by Lawrence Booth, and the publication’s other choices for 2016 were Warwickshire and England’s Chris Woakes, Middlesex’s Toby Roland-Jones and Pakistan pair Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq.

Players can only be named a Wisden player of the year once.