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Harmer collects cricket writers' club award

PUBLISHED: 16:47 01 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:47 01 October 2019

Simon Harmer of Essex. Picture: Nick Wood/TGS Photo

Simon Harmer of Essex. Picture: Nick Wood/TGS Photo

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Simon Harmer has this afternoon been named as the winner of the Cricket Writers' Club's County Championship Player of the Year Award for 2019, presented in association with William Hill.

Harmer, 30, enjoyed a brilliant season, with his spin bowling being a major factor in Essex securing their second Specsavers County Championship Division One title in three years.

The South African off-break bowler bagged 83 Division One wickets at an average of 18.29. This even surpassed his tally of 72 wickets collected in 2017 when Essex ended a 25-year search for the County Championship crown.

Harmer took five wickets in an innings on ten occasions in 2019. Perhaps his most remarkable match was against Hampshire in June when he claimed 12 wickets for just 61 runs as Essex surged to an emphatic victory inside two days.

He also contributed with the bat, making two Championship fifties.

Harmer was a key cog in Essex's first domestic T20 success. Captaining the side, it was fitting that he hit the winning runs as the Eagles landed the 'Blast' title with a thrilling last-ball victory over Worcestershire at Edgbaston.

He received the County Championship Player of the Year award today at the Cricket Writers' Club's annual lunch, attended by almost 250 guests at the Marriott Grosvenor Square hotel in central London.

Harmer said: "It's been a great last month of the season, and a wonderful season for Essex.

"It's difficult to pick out one particular highlight. Obviously, Blast Finals Day was an extremely exciting occasion and everything fell into place for us at Edgbaston - it was great to win the Vitality Blast for the first time.

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"Then, down at Somerset in the last and decisive County Championship match of the season, I think we got ourselves into a little bit of trouble trying to play out a draw on that pitch.

"In the end, it was the relief of finally lifting the trophy at the culmination of such a great season that was a real highlight.

"Very many thanks to everyone who voted for me to win this Award."

Alison Mitchell, chair of the Cricket Writers' Club, said: "William Hill has enjoyed an association with the CWC County Championship Player of the Year Award since its inception, and the club is delighted that we continue to enjoy such support.

"The prestige of the award, and the high regard in which it is held, is demonstrated year on year by the enthusiastic voting among our members.

"Our congratulations go to Simon Harmer for an outstanding season, and one which helped Essex win the coveted County Championship title."

Rupert Adams, media relations manager for William Hill, added: "Since William Hill have supported the CWC County Championship Cricketer of the Year Award, from its inception in 2012, there have been some exceptional winners, including the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Rory Burns.

"Simon's feats at Essex this season ensure that he is another very worthy recipient of the award.

"His fine off-spin bowling has been instrumental in Essex's excellent season, underlined by the number of five-wicket hauls he returned.

"We extend warm congratulations to Simon on his wonderful form this year."

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