2023 End of Season Gala Dinner Award Winners


The 2023 season, even by the lofty standards set by recent Essex campaigns, will live long in the memory for a variety of reasons.

From a first Vitality Blast Finals Day appearance in four years that culminated in the Eagles being part of the most-viewed final in over a decade, to a thrilling title race in the LV= Insurance County Championship that went right down to the wire, there were stirring moments and indelible memories aplenty.

It was hardly just the Men’s First XI who contributed to a special summer, either, as the Women’s London Championship was secured by Essex for the first time.

Several members of that victorious team then played their part in further success, as the Eagles’ U18 Women added the National County T20 cup to the Chelmsford trophy cabinet.

What’s more, the Falcons Ability team completed a sweep of Essex pride across the board as they rounded out their season by reaching the final of the D40 Pursuit competition.

Those moments were celebrated at the Club’s annual End of Season Gala Dinner at Braxted Park on Wednesday 04 October, which was hosted by Graham Gooch, Simon Ward and BBC Essex’s Victoria Polley.

2023 Award Winners

Community Award: Paul Davidge

Paul made a real contribution to women’s and girl’s cricket across the county this season, and in particular, their efforts and success in increasing the number of state schools taking part in female competitions.

Pictured: Rachel Lewis (Essex Cricket in the Community Chair) & Paul Davidge

Ability Young Player of the Year, sponsored by Allen Ford: Amara Law

Opening bowler Amara was a key part as the side reached the regional final this season, taking six wickets with a best of 3/14 to dismiss Kent for 28. She overcame a potentially season-ending back injury to play in that final, though showed her dedication by coming to Hampshire whilst injured and even took over scoring.

Women’s Young Player of the Year, sponsored by MidexPRO: Prisha Bedi

Prisha Bedi

Spinner Prisha played 30 matches across formats for Essex sides this season, of which 16 were for the Under-18 side and 14 for the First XI, taking a total of 40 wickets at an average of 12.00 and with a best return of 4/21 against Nottinghamshire.

Men’s Young Player of the Year: Robin Das

Robin Das

Batter Robin enjoyed a breakout season in 2023, making his First-Class debut, on which he hit a century, and notching more than 500 runs in all formats alongside it. As well as that ton, he had his strongest showings in the Vitality Blast, hitting two half-centuries, with a top-score of 72 off 39 balls against Somerset.

Seniors Team Player of the Year: Phil Whettell

To call batter Phil’s 2023 season good would be to say Alastair Cook had an OK time of it in the Test arena. He had a sparkling campaign in the Essex 50+ side, hitting 739 runs at a scarcely-believable average of 105.57, with five fifties and two centuries, and a top score of 134 not out off 130 balls against Surrey.

Development Team Player of the Year: Om Thekaria

Om Thekaria’s bowling was pivotal in helping his team secure the runner-up position in the East of England Development Competition, taking 9 wickets at an average of 10.

Academy Player of the Year: Noah Thain

Top order batter Noah signed a rookie contract early in the 2023 season, and enjoyed a profitable Metro Bank One Day Cup campaign with 159 runs at an average of 39.75. He also went on to make his international debut for England Under-19s, scoring 219 runs across two Youth Tests and five ODIs against Australia.

Second XI Player of the Year: Charlie Allison

All-rounder turned specialist batter Charlie made waves in the One Day Cup after also agreeing a rookie deal in 2023, scoring 254 runs at an average of 36.28. He went on to play a part in the Youth Tests against Australia as well, top-scoring in the first innings of the first match with 44.

Bowler of the Year: Jamie Porter

Jamie Porter

It was a fantastic season for Jamie Porter who showed his class throughout the LV= Insurance County Championship. He was the 3rd highest wicket taker in Division One of the County Championship with 57 wickets, including four five-wicket hauls and a 10-fer in victory v Hampshire at the Ageas Bowl.

Batter of the Year: Tom Westley

The Essex skipper showed his class and quality throughout the season, making a huge impact with the bat in the LV= Insurance County Championship campaign. Westley was the second highest run scorer in Division One with a total of 1130 runs.

Performance of the Year: Matt Critchley’s Vitality Blast 5/28 v Middlesex

Leg-spinning all-rounder Matt took home the first of his three awards for his sparkling five-for against Middlesex towards the end of the Blast group-stages. Having bowled Joe Cracknell, he then saw Ryan Higgins and Luke Hollman caught, pinned Jack Davies lbw, and completed his haul with the wicket of Josh de Caires.

White-Ball Player of the Year: Daniel Sams

Following his return as Essex’s second overseas player for the Blast, star Australian all-rounder Daniel was instrumental as the Eagles reached the final, being named the competition’s MVP. He scored 419 runs at 29.92 and claimed 25 wickets at 21.00, leading the way for the Eagles in both departments.

Players’ Player of the Year: Matt Critchley

Following an excellent season with bat and ball, Matt Critchley was voted for by every one of his teammates – highlighting his contribution across the LV= Insurance County Championship and Vitality Blast formats this year.

Ability Player of the Year, sponsored by Allen Ford: Joe Moss

All-rounder Joe had a huge impact after joining the side last winter, finishing as leading run-scorer and wicket-taker for both the Hawks and the Falcons. A strong fielder, Joe hit a season top-score of 70 not out against Surrey and returned best bowling figures of 4/11 in dismissing Middlesex for just 62.

Women’s Player of the Year, sponsored by MidexPRo: Grace Poole

Grace Poole

Seam bowler Grace played 13 matches in both 50-over and T20 formats this season, taking 19 wickets at an average of 10.79 and with a best return of 5/49 against Surrey. She also contributed 201 runs, with her top score being an unbeaten fifty in that same Surrey match.

Devines Player of the Year: Matt Critchley

Matt Critchley 1

It was a triumphant evening for Matt Critchley, who scooped his third award of the evening. The award caps off a magnificent season for the all-rounder and it was made extra special by the fact that it is voted for by our Members and supporters.