Now it’s time for the Cutting Awards
IT'S THE completion of the summer, with only the Sheffield Shield final to be concluded before players return to celebrate Mad Monday and enjoy an awards night at their respective clubs and associations before taking a break for a few months.
As is customary the day before the Shield final, the All-Star domestic teams are named for Sheffield Shield, Ryobi Cup and the Big Bash League.
Hopefully there will be a few Queenslanders among the names, with my money on James Hopes, Peter Forrest, Usman Khawaja and Chris Lynn to feature prominently in the different formats.
On a more light-hearted note, I spent the week formulating my own awards list encompassing both on and off-field performances
Catch of the summer goes to Usman Khawaja in the Ryobi Cup for his full stretch, one-handed dive to his left, snapping up a full-blooded cut shot from Steve Smith just centimetres from the ground.
Not surprisingly, Uzzie also took out the award for best innings - his 182 not out against South Australia at the Gabba. Bulls coach Stuart Law described the knock as one of the best he has ever seen.
Next up is the biggest pest award. No surprises that this went to my fellow columnist Joe Burns - the first player to go back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back for this honour. His highlight for the summer was a WWE wrestle-off against yours truly - the judges are still deliberating over the winner.
Rounding out the coveted Cutting Awards is the highly sought hardcase award. It was a tightly run race between Queensland Bulls skipper James Hopes and Aussie paceman Ryan Harris. Hopes, diagnosed with stress fractures of the back before the start of the season, chose bravely to push on, most likely gaining a stress fracture of the rib to go with it.
Gutsy though it was, unfortunately for Hopesy, his efforts were in vain as Harris completed his Australian summer with negative cartilage in his knee to take out the award.
Imagine what he could have done on two legs.
That's something we will all look forward to in 2014-15, which includes a tour by India and a World Cup here in Australia.