LONDON - England all-rounder Ben Stokes has rounded off a memorable season that has seen him gain selection for the upcoming Ashes tour of Australia by becoming the first Durham player to be named the Cricket Writers' Club Young Cricketer of the Year. Stokes, 22, helped Durham win the County Championship for the third time in six years by scoring 615 runs in 13 matches with a best of 127 against title rivals Yorkshire at Scarborough and took 42 wickets at 26.57 with his lively right-arm fast-medium bowling.
The son of former New Zealand rugby league international Ged Stokes, he also impressed at England level, taking a one-day international career best five for 61 in the final match of the recent series against Australia at Southampton.
He will now look to add to a tally of 2,258 Test caps and 1,781 limited overs international caps, not including Stokes' own, won by previous Young Cricketers of the Year, an award now in its 64th year and open to England-qualified players under the age of 23 on May 1, which is voted for by the Full Members of the Cricket Writers' Club.
Meanwhile Derbyshire captain Wayne Madsen has become the second winner of the Cricket Writers' Club County Championship Player of the Year, sponsored by William Hill, in succession to inaugural recipient Nick Compton. That Derbyshire still had a chance of avoiding relegation from the top flight of the Championship come the final round of matches owed much to the form of their 29-year-old captain, who led them to promotion in 2012.
Born in Durban but England-qualified Madsen scored 1,221 First Division runs -- a tally exceeded only by Yorkshire's Gary Ballance -- at 43.60 in 16 matches with three hundreds and eight fifties. Both awards are due to be presented at the Cricket Writers' Club Annual Lunch at London's Plaisterers' Hall on Monday.