Paul Stirling has been voted by his peers as the Men’s International Cricketer of the Year for the third year in row.

Ireland’s main man topped the scoring charts in 2021 with 1,187 runs at an average of 44 and, while the rest of the Ireland squad arrived home from the T20 World Cup qualifying tournament yesterday, Stirling flew to Lahore to play for Islamabad United in an eliminator match for the final of the Pakistan Super League. However, he was out for 13 in the third over and Islamabad lost by six runs.

The top four in the Player of the Year category, as voted on a match by match basis by the players throughout the year, was completed by Andrew Balbirnie, Simi Singh and Josh Little.

The Women’s Player of the Year was Gaby Lewis, followed by Laura Delany, Leah Paul and Orla Prendergast.

Meanwhile, the awards keep coming for Amy Hunter. Already a nominee for the Belfast Telegraph Elite Game Changer Award, the 16-year-old international was named the Female Emerging Player of the Year at last night’s virtual ceremony – a formality after her world-record innings of 121 against Zimbabwe in October.

The best young male is Lisburn slow left-armer Matthew Humphreys who carried his form from 2021 into last month’s Under-19 World Cup in West Indies.

In a Lisburn double, former chairman Dean Simpson picked up the Groundskeeper of the Year award for the improvements made at Wallace Park.

In a good year for the NCU, Ani Chore was rewarded for his prolific summer with North Down, when he scored 1,157 runs at an average of 77 and was the unanimous winner of Male Club Player of the Year. Woodvale’s Ruhan Pretorius, Ballymena’s John Glass, who hit six sixes in the final over to win the T20 Trophy, and Brigade’s David Barr were also shortlisted in this category.

NCU general secretary Bryan Milford was also honoured for his 14 years of service with the Volunteering Excellence Award and Drumaness Superkings, whose long-serving and popular member Brendan Gelston died suddenly this week, were nominated for Club of the Year.

That award went to Bready CC, who not only won the North West Premiership title but their three other men’s teams and the Women’s side also won trophies.

The other award which went North West was to long-serving scorer at club and international level Mary McElwee, who won the Official of the Year.

George Dockrell’s reinvention as a batsman won the Leinster Lightning skipper the Inter-provincial Player of the year, with the next three places filled by team-mate Matt Ford and North West Warriors’ William Porterfield and Andy McBrine.

There were three more inductees into the Cricket Writers of Ireland Hall of Fame, namely former Ireland captain Angus Dunlop, Barbara McDonald, who played 60 times for Ireland between 1993 and 2005, and, posthumously, Lisburn legend and Ireland captain Dermott Monteith.

Other winners:
Women’s inter-provincial: Gaby Lewis
Women’s Club Player: Laura Delany
Outstanding Contribution and service to Irish Cricket: Michael Sharp
Outstanding contribution to coaching: Ted Williamson