George Dockrell wins ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year
Ireland's George Dockrell has been named the ICC Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year at the LG ICC Awards in Colombo.
The 20 year enjoyed a fantastic run of form in the voting period for the award, capturing 52 wickets at 15.83 for Ireland in all cricket, including 22 in three InterContinental Cup matches and 14 in T20 Internationals - more than any other bowler, including Full Members. Dockrell also scored his maiden half century for Ireland against Namibia
Speaking after receiving the award from West Indies legend Ritchie Richardson, Dockrell said: "It's great to win such an award and especially to be following the footsteps of an esteemed group of players like William Porterfield and Ryan ten Doeschate and only at the age of 20, I feel very honoured.I've had a great year playing a wide range of cricket - InterContinental Cup, Twenty20s, ODI's and the ICC Under 19 World Cup and learned a lot in all forms of the game.
"This competition is a lot bigger (than the Under 19s), with a lot more pressure but I'm looking forward to it. If you look at the last few tournaments, we beat Bangladesh at the World Twenty20 in England and came so close to beating Sri Lanka and of course we had that win against England in the 2011 World Cup in India. It proves they are not one-off wins, we are always competing, always playing well in the big tournaments and coming into this tournament we are backing ourselves to beat one if not two of the teams in our group, Australia and West Indies, to reach the next stage," said Dockrell, who beat off four rivals to the award.
"Even since I came into the team before the last World Twenty20, the squad is stronger and Irish cricket is moving in the right direction and hopefully we will have a successful World Twenty20
"It'll be a hard act to follow my success of the past year, but it's a good situation to be in, setting high standards and I'll be working hard to keep the bar high and performing as well as I can for Ireland in the future."
Ireland coach Phil Simmons paid tribute to Dockrell saying: "It's a great honour for himself for what he has achieved in the year and it shows there is reward off the field and I'm delighted ICC has recognised George and Ireland with this prestigious award."
"It's fantastic that we had four players up there and hopefully next year we will have all five. That shows the strength of the team at our level and everyone is coming up to scratch and wanting to be a hero on any given day so we are getting more and more success."
On the qualities he feels Dockrell possesses, Simmons continued: "Since he has come into the Irish set-up, George has proved to be very calm in the pressure situations and that's a big plus for him.
"There's more to come from him - he's always learning, and I feel he can go on to greater things with this Ireland team. We're improving all the time and George can play an integral part in ensuring further success for Ireland."