Linsey Smith voted Players' Player of the year for 2021


Linsey Smith has been voted as the Northern Diamonds Players’ Player of the Year for 2021, an award which was announced at Saturday’s end of season awards dinner.


The awards took place in the Directors’ Suite at Headingley, with Netherlands batter Sterre Kalis claiming two awards.


While Smith’s 22 wickets, added to 127 runs, in 16 appearances for the Diamonds during the summer earned her the nominations of her team-mates, Kalis won both the Diamonds’ Batter of the Year and the Fans’ Player of the Year.


She scored 373 runs in 17 appearances (14 innings), including two fifties.


Neither were present at Headingley due to commitments overseas - Smith in the Big Bash in Australia and Kalis in Zimbabwe for the one-day World Cup qualifiers with the Dutch. But both sent video messages.


“Thank you for this award - it’s very special,” Smith said to an audience including new Yorkshire chair Lord Kamlesh Patel.


“We had another great year as a team and put in some good performances. We didn’t quite get over the line, but hopefully next year we can do that.


“It’s a real honour to take the pitch with this team. It’s very special to me.


“I know that some of the performances I’ve put in, I wouldn’t be able to put in in another team just because we have such a great environment and I really thrive off that. It’s a credit to everyone in the team as well.”


Kalis said: “Thank you very much for these awards. It really means a lot to me.


“I have enjoyed every single moment on the field with you guys this season, and I can’t wait for next season to begin.”


There was further senior recognition in the form of the Bowler of the Year and Fielder of the Year, the awards going to Jenny Gunn and captain Hollie Armitage respectively.


Gunn claimed 22 wickets at an average of 15.04, while Armitage took seven catches in competitive matches, nine including friendlies.


The Diamonds Academy players were also honoured.


The Players’ Player of the Year went to opening batter Ciara Boaden, whose summer form was highlighted by scores of 34 and 23 at the late July Regional Academy Festival at Shrewsbury School.


Coaches’ Player of the Year went to Emma Marlow, who started her summer playing senior county cricket for Yorkshire and claimed 11 wickets and scored 130 runs in all cricket.


England stars Katherine Brunt, Nat Sciver and Lauren Winfield-Hill were amongst 19 players to receive commemorative Northern Diamonds caps. Winfield-Hill was honoured with cap number one.


Brunt also spoke with pride about being awarded the Freedom of Barnsley last week: “I hope I get a couple of discounts in the town centre!” she quipped.

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