Cricket: Deserved accolade for Gough

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DARREN GOUGH yesterday received recognition for his outstanding individual performances over the last 12 months by winning the Cornhill England player of the year award.

The Yorkshire fast bowler has been given the accolade ahead of his departure for England's training camp in Lahore on Sunday with the other 14 members of the World Cup squad for the forthcoming Coca-Cola Cup in Sharjah.

Gough completed a remarkable comeback in a year which began with injury and fought off competition from Nasser Hussain, Angus Fraser, Alec Stewart and Mark Ramprakash for the award. He was presented with a pounds 10,000 cheque and an engraved glass trophy at a lunch in London yesterday.

"He's got a big smile, big pace and he's a big lad," said David Lloyd, the England coach, who was on the panel of judges alongside the former Test players Mike Selvey, Bob Taylor and Bob Willis. "Darren Gough is a team player, a people's player and highly respected by all international opposition."

Gough took 17 wickets to help England win their first home Test series in over a decade against South Africa last year and shone as an individual during this winter's Ashes series taking 21 wickets - including a hat- trick in Sydney.