Leicestershire have secured the services of teenage batting prodigy Shiv Thakor on a new two-year contract. Thakor made a big impression for the club in the second half of the 2012 season, topping their averages in both the LV= County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40, after joining their playing staff full-time following the completion of his studies at Uppingham School.
Some of Leicestershire's other players Josh Cobb, Greg Smith, Michael Thornely and James Sykes, along with club chairman Paul Haywood and members of his family have taken part in a sponsored sky-dive at Langar Airfield in aid of the club's benefit year and the Rainbow Children's Hospice.
After the jump, Haywood said, It was a fantastic experience. We sky-dived in groups. It is still not too late to sponsor the sky-divers as they are all on Twitter or Facebook. It can also be done on the club website."
Glamorgan have extended the contract of promising pace-bowler Mike Reed by two years. Head coach Matthew Mott spoke of the attributes that Reed brings to the attack, saying, "Mike has made a dramatic rise this season. He gets good bounce from his deliveries and has the ability to do batsmen for length. He's got all the attributes to make it in first-class cricket: he's athletic, tall and strong and what's more he's hungry to prove himself and play in all forms of the game."
Glamorgan have also confirmed that club captain Mark Wallace is to be their beneficiary for the 2013 season. The 30 year-old became the most successful wicket-keeper in the club's history this season by passing Eifion Jones' club record for most runs in a first-class career by a specialist gloveman.
Somerset's Peter Trego has been named as the FTI Most Valuable Player for the 2012 county season. In all first-team cricket, he took 67 wickets and hit 897 runs to give him a MVP points score 40 points higher than second-placed Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens.
Trego said, "I'm both surprised and delighted to win. I know I've had a good season, but to come out on top of the heap is a real bonus.
"While we (Somerset) haven't won any silverware this year and missed out in the FLt20 again, I'm confident this team has a trophy in them. It would be great to take my form into next season and really kick on."
Alex Gidman has stepped down as Gloucestershire's captain in all forms of the game. Gidman said, “I am very proud of the contribution I have been able to make as Gloucestershire captain. But I have not enjoyed the role as much this season and feel the time is right for someone else to take over. My intention now is to spend the time I was taking up with captaincy issues on improving my own game. My plan for this winter is to devote more hours to practice and fitness work than I have ever done. Hopefully that will result in lots of runs for the team next summer.”
The club must now find a replacement, with Hamish Marshall, who stood in for Gidman in 2012, one possibility, although chief executive Tom Richardson indicated that the club may decide to bring in an overseas player to fill the role.
Yorkshire batsman Joe Root was awarded the prestigious Cricket Writers' Club Young Cricketer of the Year award at their annual dinner in London. He scored 937 first-class runs in 2012 and succeeds his Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow as the award's winner.
The county's beleaguered groundsmen were also rewarded for their efforts during what was one of the wettest summers on record. They were collectively given the Peter Smith Memorial Award, which recognises the presentation of cricket to the public, and a donation was made to the Perennial, the horticulturist's benevolent society.
The PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association) has launched a series of online tutorials aimed at cricketers suffering from depression. The videos feature high profile sufferers such as Marcus Trescothick and Andrew Flintoff, and come off the back of the increased profile that the illness has been getting following the recent revelations about ex-Essex and Northamptonshire seamer Darren Cousins' attempted suicide and Tim Ambrose's troubles during the 2011 season. Leicestershire batsman Matt Boyce is also doing his bit to raise the illness' profile and is walking the length of Britain during the close season to raise money for mental health charity MIND.
Lancashire beat Somerset in the final of the Disability Cricket County Championship held at Derby. In a low-scoring game, Somerset came very close but couldn't take the last few wickets needed to win the trophy. They dedicated their performance in the competition to their coach Dan Hodges who passed away at the start of the season.
Nottinghamshire have signed fast-bowler Andy Carter on a new three-year deal. Carter took 25 wickets in nine Championship appearances in 2012 and regularly bowled in excess of 85mph.
Director of Cricket Mick Newell said of Carter: "This has been a breakthrough season for him and I hope he can establish himself as one of our senior bowlers during the term of this contract. After a period where injuries were disrupting his progress, he now has a good understanding of how to prepare himself for the rigours of the season. He has an unusual action with good pace and an aggressive bouncer and he has the potential to get better and better."
Lancashire have released fast-bowler Sajid Mahmood. The former England bowler barely played for the club during 2012 and spent the final few weeks on loan at Somerset, who may yet decide to make that a formal arrangement. His release follows that of former Warwickshire seamer Naqaash Tahir, who was told that he was surplus to requirements after just one season on the staff.
Northamptonshire have decided not to offer ex-Sri Lanka all-rounder Chaminda Vaas a new contract. Vaas played sporadically during 2012 due to injury and was unable to match his outstanding 2011 performances when he took the club to the brink of promotion.
Head coach David Ripley said, "He has just not been able to beat the injuries this year. A real gentleman of cricket, we wish him all the very best. He has contributed a great deal to Northants cricket during his time here, but I would also pay tribute to his standing in the international list of greats."
© Cricket World 2012