Yorkshire's prolific opening batsmen Alex Lees has capped off a fine season by being awarded the LV= Breakthrough Player of the Year for 2014.
A shortlist was selected by a panel of experts which consisted of ECB Performance
Director David Parsons, PCA Chairman Mark Wallace and former Middlesex and England stalwart Mike Gatting.
The award not only recognises exceptional performances during the season but is also an award that earmarks players for future International honours. Lees, the eventual winner, was voted for by the public.
Lees fends off stiff competition
Young Lees beat off stiff competition from a short-list of five - Surrey’s Zafar Ansari and Jason Roy, Somerset’s Lewis Gregory and Adam Riley of Kent.
The Halifax born twenty-one year old has enjoyed some fantastic personal and team success this season and his award is fully justified.
The left-handed batsmen has forged a brilliant partnership with Adam Lyth at the top of the Yorkshire batting order and their success has been one of the main reasons why Yorkshire have been crowned County Champions for the 31st time, still with a game remaining.
England selectors watching
Both Lees and Lyth are now firmly in the sights of the England selectors and will hope to continue their performances next year. For Lees the year after his breakthrough will be very important as the bowlers in the County Championship will have time to study his strengths and will try to target any perceived weaknesses. Lees will not want to rest on his laurels and will want to winter well and then continue his development next year.
Could we see both Lyth and Lees opening the batting for England in the not too distant future?
Lees has so far hit 865 Division One County Championship runs at an average of just over 43, scoring two centuries and four half-centuries, with a highest score of 138.
As well as the award Lees was also given £1000 which was donated to two of his former
cricket clubs, Bradshaw and Illingworth, who both receive £500 each.
Lees last game of the season for Yorkshire will be in the final County Championship game of the season against Somerset at Headingley, starting next Tuesday, where Yorkshire will parade the trophy to their supporters. Lees will hope to end the season in style.