On Friday, 25th February 2011, at a prestigious central London venue, the awards for Allstars of the Year 2010 were presented to two very worthy winners. Although the award is usually awarded for an all-round contribution over a series, they can also recognise either a single performance, or a series of performances – as is the case with both our awards tonight.
The winners were…
Damian Radcliffe. Damian made, by his standards, a relatively quiet start to his Allstar career before blossoming this season. He chose an auspicious moment to emerge from his chrysalis with a flurry of runs which brought us our first victory on tour since 2003. In pursuit of a daunting victory target of 214 against Eglingham, Northumbria, his imperious, colossal, 120 transformed the entire tenor of the match and saw us home by 5 wickets. The very next day, his 66 against BA Corinthian Amateurs almost won the match – he finished with a tour aggregate of 186. A fortnight later, a similarly redoubtable and fluent 61 not in pursuit of 176, which secured a memorable victory by seven wickets.
Paul Bowman. He may have a lot of cricket on his plate every season, but whenever he’s able to play for us, he gives a Kevin Keegan-esque 150% – never more so than when on tour. And in the Dordogne last September, he took it upon himself to try to win the matches almost single-handedly, with a steely resolve, exceptional focus, and ruthless professionalism. Every single tourist made a contribution to our gutsy display against St Aulaye and our historic victory over Eymet. But if we had to single out one player, it would be Paul with figures of 2-38 off 8 overs, and 88 with the bat, against St Aulaye…and against Eymet, a bowling spell of Eymet 5-2-5-4, and then an innings of 31 not out to win the match. Allied to that, off-field, his unquenchable enthusiasm, energy and warmth, make him one of the best-loved tourists of all.