Trescothick collects player of the year award

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The Independent Online

Marcus Trescothick rounded off an exceptional year by picking up the Natwest PCA Player of the Year award last night.

He held off competition from England captain Andrew Strauss and Durham duo Ian Blackwell and Graham Onions to clinch the award, which is voted for by all county players.

Trescothick scored 1817 championship runs at an average of 75 this season as he helped guide Somerset to a third-place finish in the first division of the LV County Championship.

The 33 year old racked up eight hundreds, 281 fours and nine sixes during the championship season and starred on Twenty20 finals day when he raced to a 27-ball half-century in Somerset's seven-wicket victory over Kent at Edgbaston.

His form even prompted speculation that the selectors were considering recalling the left-hander to the England side for the final Ashes Test in the wake of Ravi Bopara's dip in form.

Trescothick, who retired from international cricket last year because of a stress-related illness, ruled himself out a return to the national term but went on to star in Somerset's campaign.

Leicestershire batsman James Taylor overcame strong competition in the form of England stars Stuart Broad and Adil Rashid to clinch the young player of the year award.

Taylor, 19, enjoyed a prolific season with Paul Nixon's side in which he scored 1,177 first-class runs at an average of 58.85.

Taylor was one of Leicestershire's stars in an otherwise dismal season for the county which saw them finish bottom of the second division.

The England under-19 international showed composure to hit 207 not out against Surrey at the Brit Oval in July and also helped himself to three hundreds and six fifties during the campaign.

Another winner at the event, which was held in London's Billingsgate, was England captain Andrew Strauss, who picked up this year's PCA Special Merit Award.

Michael Vaughan, who retired from cricket this summer, won the ECB Special Award, while Richard Kettleborough won the Umpire of the Year award.

Trescothick and Strauss were named in the PCA Team of the Year, as were England Test internationals Broad, Graham Onions and Jonathan Trott, who capped a terrific year with Warwickshire by being handed his England debut in the final Ashes Test.

Durham's Blackwell, Ed Joyce (Sussex), Craig Kieswetter (Somerset), James Foster (Essex), James Tredwell (Kent) and Steve Kirby (Gloucestershire) completed the line up.