OPINION: It's time for part two of the prestigious, irreverent, risky and potentially offensive awards known as the Podsys.
The rest of the award winners for 2012 are: Hansel Award: Roald Badenhorst. The CD Stag mistakenly identified as Raoul Badenhorst on the Central Districts website, which coincidently is the name of a renowned Spanish bullfighter, hence Badenhorst now widely being referred to as El Matador.
This year has been an amazing one for Badenhorst, with bags of wickets coming on a weekly basis and a rep bowling average for the year under 10.
His 10 for 14 match haul in the Taranaki match mentioned previously was undoubtedly the highlight and make him deserving of the award for someone who is "so hot right now". Mongo Award: Katrina Keenan. The new White Ferns coach appears to be the lifeline the international career of Manawatu product Rachel Candy needs to show what she can really do at that level.
Her four for 39 in the White Ferns' win against Australia in the first Rose Bowl one-dayer earlier this month was reward for the first national coach to really show some faith in the pace bowler now domiciled in Christchurch. The Jack Buck Award: Bevan Small. You probably don't know the name, but baseball commentator Buck uttered one of the most famous quotes in sport during the 1988 World Series that could well have been made about that amazing catch assist Manawatu's Small provided for his now coach, Michael Mason, when playing for CD.
Running and leaping over the boundary and to his left, Small instinctively flicked the ball back to Mason, who had covered massive ground to put himself in position to take a catch that left people thinking "I can't believe what I just saw".
It may seem like an eternity ago, but this actually happened in 2012 and made Small an instant YouTube sensation around the cricketing world, even if he didn't receive any credit on the scorecard. Never worry about Al Gore's movie award: Mike Hesson. Moment of the Year Award: The obvious thing would have been to call this the Steve McQueen or the Great Escape Award, but those actually familiar with the movie (or the story it was loosely based on) realise the Great Escape wasn't actually that successful, as only three of 250 actually escaped.
The real great escape was performed by the Stags earlier this year, when they won the Ford Trophy one-day competition, thanks to a heroic performance from Mike Mason in the last game of his 15-year professional career.
As Mase strode to the wicket, the Stags needed 58 off 28 balls with only two wickets in hand. Twenty-four minutes later, the fast bowler, who self-deprecatingly has always referred to himself as "Mace no Pace", had doubled his previous top score at that level with 41 off 19 balls to lead the Stags to victory. Darryl Cullinan Award: New Zealand Cricket's "we-told-Ross-Taylor-we-still-wanted-him-as-test-captain" attempt at the spin game was reminiscent of Cullinan's inept efforts against spinning legend Shane Warne during the 1990s.
■ Finally, thank you to everyone associated with the great game of cricket in Manawatu during 2012.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year's break and I look forward to seeing you around the grounds in 2013.
- Manawatu Standard
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