Harry Brook named CWC Young Player of Year, Sophia Dunkley wins Women's Award

Harry Brook acknowledges the applause on reaching his century Getty Images

Yorkshire batter Harry Brook has been voted the Cricket Writers' Club (CWC) NV Play Young Player of the Year, with Sophia Dunkley selected for the JM Finn Women's Cricket Award. Meanwhile, retiring broadcaster Michael Holding was recognised by the CWC for his presentation of cricket to the public.

Luke Fletcher won the LV= Insurance County Championship Player of the Year, while 17-year-old Alice Capsey was named the inaugural Sumaridge Estate Wines Emerging Cricketer of the Year. Brook and Capsey picked up equivalent awards from the Professional Cricketers' Assocation last week.

The Lord's Taverners Disability Cricketer of the Year Award went to Alex Jervis, for his off-field work with Yorkshire.

Brook becomes the 13th Yorkshire player to win the CWC Young Player award, which has been presented every year since 1950. Winners of the award must be aged under 23 at the start of the season. Recent recipients include England captain Joe Root (2012), Ben Stokes (2013) and Sam Curran (2018).

Brook tallied 1286 runs across all formats in 2021, finishing as the fourth-highest scorer in the Vitality Blast and making an impact on the men's Hundred for Northern Superchargers.

"I wrote down a few notes at the start of the year about what I wanted to achieve and the runs I wanted to get in different formats and I nailed that," Brook said.

Dunkley, the 23-year-old middle-order batter, enjoyed a breakthrough summer with England to impress the CWC judging panel comprising members of the written and broadcast media. The first black woman to play Test cricket, Dunkley made an unbeaten 74 on debut against India, following that up with a match-winning 73 not out in only her second ODI.

She was also part of the Southern Brave team that reached the final of the women's Hundred, ending the tournament as third-leading run-scorer.

"There have been a lot of highlights for me this summer but making my Test debut was obviously very special, they don't come around that often in the women's game," she said. "To go on to make my ODI debut was also something I had dreamt of growing up as well."

Another star of the Hundred, Capsey helped Oval Invincibles to lift the title, scoring 150 runs to go with 10 wickets. She was also a leading performer for South East Stars as they claimed the Charlotte Edwards Cup.

"It's been incredible, a really special summer to be part of and one I'll remember for a very long time," Capsey said. "To end the season with two trophies is great. It was really special to be at Lord's... I loved being in front of the crowd and I felt like I belonged there. It was uplifting."

Holding, the former West Indies fast bowler and experienced commentator, won the Peter Smith Award - decided by the CWC awards panel - for his "outstanding contribution to presentation of cricket to the public".

The panel's citation reads: "Michael Holding first became an icon of the game as 'Whispering Death', his potent combination of grace and menace epitomising West Indies cricket in the 1970s and '80s. He achieved similar stature as a broadcaster with his unmistakable voice and his trenchant yet fair opinions. In the last 18 months, his searing words on racism and the Black Lives Matter movement have opened eyes and ears around the world. He will be missed in his second retirement as much as in his first."

Notts fast bowler Fletcher was voted Championship Player of the Year after taking 66 wickets at 14.90 - the most in the country. "You don't go into the season thinking you are going to get awards like that," Fletcher said. "Thank you to everyone who voted."

The CWC Derek Hodgson Book Award was given to Nick Greenslade for The Thin White Line, which tells the story of the 2010 spot-fixing scandal.