Monday 1 October 2007 

Murali Kartik & Murtagh Middlesex Players Of The Year

In the end it was too hard to pull them apart and Middlesex CCC named two players as their 2007 Players of the Year – Tim Murtagh and Murali Kartik for their consistency and hard work throughout the season. The pair were named in the finale of the annual End of Season dinner and Player’s Awards, held last night in the Thomas Lord Suite at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Middlesex CCC Chairman, Ian Lovett, welcomed players, committee, sponsors, staff, members and guests to a packed venue as they sat down for their meals and evening's entertainment, following a bustling champagne reception. Roger Dakin compèred the night, to the amusement of the assembled audience, while Middlesex stalwart Simon Hughes oversaw the Awards proceedings. Everyone who attended agreed that it was fantastic to see the occasion return to Lord’s.

Apart from the announcement of the Players of the Year, the other highlight of the night was the announcement by Middlesex CCC Chief Executive, Vinny Codrington - that the club had raised £19,330 for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, the UK’s leading breast cancer charity, during the 2007 season. A Clydesdale Bank cheque was presented to Breakthrough Trustee Eve Smith and Sarah Tedder by Vinny and the Chairman, Ian Lovett. A signed and framed pink shirt was then auctioned in order to take the total raised to Middlesex’s target of £20,000. A generous supporter pledged £1000 and the goal was reached. After such a successful inaugural year, Vinny announced that the partnership would continue in 2008 and urged everyone to remember that a pink shirt could therefore make a perfect Christmas present!

Throughout the evening Middlesex’s achievements in 2007 were celebrated, particularly winning the Second XI Trophy and gaining promotion to the first division of the NatWest Pro40 League.

In addition, presentations were made to the retiring Chairman of the England & Wales Cricket Board, David Morgan, the Middlesex staff and to Vinny who celebrated his 10th Anniversary as Chief Executive, this year, before the evening moved on to the actual awards ceremony.

Simon Hughes started by presenting the Player of the Month awards to David Nash (April), Billy Godleman (May), Murali Kartik (June/July), Eoin Morgan (August) and Ed Smith (September). Special awards were then presented to Danny Evans (who was absent) for making his first class debut this season, Billy Godleman for his maiden first class century, Eoin Morgan for his maiden century for Middlesex, Steven Finn for his County Championship debut, Robbie Williams for five wickets in an innings on his County Championship debut and Owais Shah (absent in Sri Lanka with England) for his maiden ODI century.

The next Award was the Betfair Scholarship Award which will go annually to a young Middlesex player with talent and ability, who will then be sponsored to spend their winter in Australia at the Darren Lehman Cricket Academy to further his game. This year’s award was presented to Dan Housego by Betfair’s Scott Moffat. In return Dan presented Betfair with a bat signed by the 2007 Middlesex squad.

John Emburey then presented the Walker Ground, Southgate, Groundsman Steve Martin with a gift in recognition of his 25 years service, before Andrew Strauss, President of the Primary Club Juniors and David Townley, Captain of Metro, the London based Visually Impaired Cricket team to mark them making history by winning the BBS Primary Club Knockout Cup for the fourth out of five years this season.

The Middlesex retirements of Ben Hutton and Richard Johnson were also marked with a presentation to both by David Nash.

Other Awards included the John Bugden Bowling Award which went to Murali Kartik for his 6-21 against Glamorgan, Youth Player of the Season, Kabir Toor and Women’s Player of the Season, Sarah Bartlett.

© Cricket World 2007