Paul Borrington's remarkable performances for Ticknall made him the third Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the Kingfisher Cricket Awards end of season batting ratings. To be honest, after his 1800-plus runs it is astonishing that there are two players rated above him, but the Derbyshire batsman has done a remarkable job in 2011. Borrington did, however, come top of the Midlands section.
It is easy to denigrate his performance as being "just against club players" but the standard of club cricket in Derbyshire is very high. One has only to look at the others in the ratings to see how high it can be elsewhere too. Mark Wallace of Glamorgan, David Brown of Gloucestershire, Joe Root of Yorkshire and Moeen Ali were also in the mix, with most first-class players involved in club cricket when not in first eleven action at the weekend.
Simon Kerrigan of Lancashire and Pakistan legend Saqlain Mushtaq are among the names in the bowling stars, but especially interesting is that the all-rounder category was won by David Wainwright for his performances at Castleford. He averaged 77 with the bat and took 22 wickets at 16 for the club, which by any standards is very impressive.
I have written earlier today that Wainwright will be a fine capture for the county that obtains his signature and these statistics confirm his talent. The leagues in that area are always strong and Wainwright will have faced exactly the same challenges as Paul Borrington. Everyone wants to prove something against a county professional, whether getting them out or hitting them around the park. That Wainwright still managed to turn in such a level of performance speaks volumes for his talent.
Master Villain made a good comment below this morning's piece regarding team selection if we signed Kaneria and Wainwright, in that it would likely leave a batsman out of the side. If you took the following as a notional XI:
I don't think you could go with that side unless it was a raging turner or unless Ross Whiteley develops on the bowling front over this winter as he did on the batting side this year. So who do you sacrifice? Some might say Lineker/Borrington as they have perhaps the most to prove, but there is no natural opener among the rest of them.
By the same token, bringing in another overseas batsman potentially omits two players, so the selection of that overseas role and the balance of the side for next year is going to occupy Karl Krikken in the coming months.
Mind you, I really hope we can convince Wainwright that a move to Derbyshire is his best career move. For me, it would be a terrific piece of work by the club, but there is fierce competition for his signature and we shouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves at this stage.