There was all kinds of cricketing drama that we were fortunate enough to witness in 2014.
We saw some epic clashes, the emergence of young stars, individual excellence and some heroics.
This was the season that saw Yorkshire lift the Championship after almost a decade, the so-called "underdogs" Warwickshire lift the T20 Cup, and last but not the least, Durham lift the ODI Cup after battling in a breathtaking Lord's final against the
As this is the end of the road for the 2014 season it is that time of the year again when we pick that best XI.
There really have been some scintillating performances so well done to everyone who shined. But in the end, as we can unfortunately pick just 11 men, I've had to make some tough calls.
Here is the best XI from the county season...
1. Adam Lyth (Yorkshire)
Easily one of the reasons why Yorkshire have been crowned the county Champions, Adam Lyth's sensational form has had a massive impact on their campaign. 1689 runs at an avg. of 68 with six hundreds, his stats speak for themselves.
His scores enabled Yorkshire to build massive totals, and gave their bowlers something to defend.
2. Daryll Mitchell (Worcestershire)
He set a perfect example of how do you lead from the front. It was an inexperienced Worcs squad coming into the season with the batting department particularly weak. Though his excellence with the bat (1334 runs at an avg. of 58) not only made it a memorable season for him but changed the fortunes of his side too.
3. Ed Joyce (Sussex)
The Mr. Reliable of the county circuit, Ed Joyce has been staggering with his willow throughout the season. He has had to bat at different positions for his team but that didn't affect him one bit.
1398 runs in a mere 14 matches with seven hundreds at an average of 66 were very hard earned given the situations in which he came to the crease. If it wasn't for him, I don't think Sussex would have finished in third.
4. James Vince (Hampshire)
I have no doubts whatsoever about him being the best batsman of the season. It wasn't about just one format in his case and he was able to finish as the overall leading run scorer for 2014.
His 1525 runs at an avg. of 61 with four hundreds in the FC season were of course beautiful to watch and particularly that stunning 240 off 250 odd balls.
5. Rikki Wessels (Nottinghamshire)
Honestly speaking, I never ever thought that I'd be including Rikki Wessels in my dream team for the 2014 season. This year has in fact changed the way Wessels would be seen from now on.
He has been prolific with the wood (1197 runs at an avg. of 48) and a genius behind the timber with 22 catches to his name. If I had to make a list of the most dangerous batsmen in the circuit, Wessels surely will be in there.
6. Jason Roy (Surrey)
This lad is an absolute monster when he gets going. One of the rare commodities who mercilessly beat the bowlers with brutal strokemaking, Roy's emergence has flabbergasted many.
When the season was about to begin, he talked about his England ambitions with just one championship 100 to show but he looked confident. That confidence really paid off this season as he turned to be a nightmare for the bowlers.
He scored 600+ runs in the shortest version, he excelled in the longest version too, scoring 1092 runs at a mind-boggling strike rate of 85 with three hundreds and an avg. of 52.10, which is barely believable for a man who comes in at no.6.
I'd be surprised if he doesn't play for England for a long, long time.
7. Tom Smith (Lancashire)
From the team's point of view, it was an extremely disappointing season for Lancashire but if Tom Smith takes a look at the campaign from individual point of view, he'll surely find that it was well and truly an year he must remember.
773 runs at an avg. of 34 and 54 wickets at an astounding 21 apiece really takes some doing. Some people have termed Adil Rashid as better than him, but in my view that is a wrong choice as the 28 year-old outshone Yorkie by some distance in both the aspects.
Well done to Smith, he has shown great fight throughout the season.
8. Jeetan Patel (Warwickshire)
The Most Valuable Player for the 2014 season and rightly so, as there really wasn't a format this lad didn't do well in. Taking 100+ wickets (55 FC, 23 OD and 25 T20) across all formats indeed takes some serious doing.
There has been a buzz going around that he has been a better overseas player than Brian Lara and Allan Donald for the Bears, and I would actually agree on that.
9. Steve Magoffin (Sussex)
Well it really doesn't surprise me that he is the leading wicket taker this season. Ever since he made that magical debut against Lancashire in a cold April as far as I remember, everyone knew this was a damn good signing. 72 scalps at 19 apiece is just another fine example of his capability even at the age of 36.
10. Jack Brooks (Yorkshire)
Well he is just too fast. The pace that he has along with the swing, any batsman can easily get disturbed. His rise from an academy bowler to one of the best in England is really worth admiring and it is his determination to succeed that has taken him from strength to strength. It is this determination that has rewarded him 68 scalps this summer.
11. Mark Footitt (Derbyshire)
82 wickets in 16 matches at an average of 19 with 6 five-fors. Would you believe it? Even Glen Chapple, Jack Brooks, Ryan Sidebottom, Steve Magoffin like bowlers couldn't manage that. The Derbyshire lad has really taken the selectors by storm and is surely an England prospect.
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