Mike Gatting and LVCC Player of the Year Joe Root. Photo by
Mike Gatting and LVCC Player of the Year Joe Root. Photo by

Yorkshire County Cricket club batsman Joe Root was today named the winner of the inaugural LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player Award.

The award is endorsed by LV=, title sponsor of the cricket County Championship, and celebrates the most promising young player in the county game this season.

Root was one of six players shortlisted for the award by an esteemed panel, which was then put to a fan vote during August. Root saw off tough competition including Simon Kerrigan of Lancashire, Surrey fast bowler Stuart Meaker, Derbyshire top order batsman Dan Redfern, Kent all-rounder Matt Coles and fellow Yorkshire team mate Garry Ballance.

At Headingley today Root received a commemorative TAG Heuer watch in recognition of his outstanding season in the LV= County Championship. As part of his award, Root nominated Sheffield Collegiate Cricket Club and the Yorkshire Cricket Foundation – a grassroots cricket initiative aimed at introducing youngsters to cricket – to be the recipients of a £500 cheque each, donated by LV=.

At only 21 years old Root has been likened to Michael Vaughan and has recently been tipped for England duty after his performances in this season’s LV= County Championship. With one game in the competition remaining, the young top order batsman has scored prolifically, averaging 49.31 in first class cricket this season, with a career best of 222* runs against Hampshire in the LV= County Championship earlier this year.

Former England captain Mike Gatting presented Root with his award, said: “Joe Root is a worthy winner of the inaugural LV= Breakthrough Player Award. Joe has a bright future in the game, and strikes me as the kind of player who will make the very best use of his talent in years to come. Joe’s 222 not out against Hampshire was a defining moment – it was a fantastic achievement from one of England’s hottest prospects.”

Joe Root added: “I’m over the moon to have won the LV= Breakthrough Player Award. I was up against some top players so even being nominated was an achievement in itself. I’m happy with how my season has been going, especially considering it is only my second full season in the LV= County Championship. I feel I have really developed as a player this season and I owe a great deal of that to the talented players I play alongside as well as the support and coaching I receive at Yorkshire cricket club.”

Head of sponsorship at LV=, Claire Jeromson, commented: “Congratulations to Joe on winning the LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player Award, he has had an incredible season and has a very bright future ahead of him. We’re really happy that the award has received such a great response from clubs and supporters and look forward to seeing more great young players coming through in the years to come.”