BBC county cricket team of the season 2016

Ben Duckett, Jake Ball, Haseeb Hameed
Ben Duckett, Jake Ball and Haseeb Hameed have been rewarded for their county form with England call-ups in 2016

Another summer of county cricket is almost at an end and BBC Sport has again broadcast live commentary on every day's play of every match.

So who better to fill the role of selectors, when it comes to picking a county team of the season for 2016?

Essex batsman Tom Westley, Surrey all-rounder Sam Curran, Warwickshire spinner Jeetan Patel and Middlesex pace bowler Toby Roland-Jones were among those unlucky to miss out, but here is this year's final XI.

Let us know your choices for Team of the Season via Twitter, using #bbccricket.

1. Haseeb Hameed (Lancashire)

  • Championship: 1,154 runs, average 52.45, 4x100, HS 122, 5 catches

BBC Radio Manchester's Scott Read: "'He was born to bat for England', that's what Ashley Giles told me a month or so ago, and for Haseeb Hameed a stellar season has now been rewarded with international recognition.

"He looked utterly at ease last year in Division Two, so the test 12 months on was whether he could cope against Division One bowlers.

"Watching him bat against Stuart Broad, Jake Ball and Jackson Bird in the opening fixture quickly put any doubts to bed.

"He's a technician, who plays late and shows immaculate defence, a batsman who treasures his wicket. This year he became the youngest Lancashire player to reach 1,000 runs in a season. It will be the first of many more thousands to come."

2. Keaton Jennings (Durham)

Keaton Jennings
Keaton Jennings has scored seven Championship centuries for Durham this season
  • Championship: 1,522 runs, average 69.18, 7x100, HS 221*, 6 wickets, 17 catches
  • T20 Blast: 348 runs, average 43.50, HS 88, 9 wickets, 3 catches
  • One-Day Cup: 104 runs, average 20.80, HS 24, 2 wickets, 2 catches

BBC Radio Newcastle's Martin Emmerson: "In a season of turmoil off the pitch at Durham, with the club's shaky finances never too far from the headlines, Keaton Jennings has been a ray of sunshine.

"Having been dropped midway through last season, he returned home to South Africa in the winter and worked on his game with his coach/father Ray and his uncle, who is a sports psychologist.

"The results were instant as he made back-to-back centuries in the opening game against Somerset, the first player to do it for 10 years at Durham.

"He then scored a career-best 221 not out in a draw against Yorkshire in June and last week broke the record for the most centuries in a season at Durham with his seventh, another double against Surrey.

"Jennings has also chosen to sign a new four-year contract at Durham when Scott Borthwick and Mark Stoneman decided The Oval offered them their only realistic chance of playing for England. We'll see how it all works out in time, but what a season Jennings has had."

3. Nick Gubbins (Middlesex)

Nick Gubbins
Nick Gubbins' Middlesex are chasing a first Championship title since 1993
  • Championship: 1,191 runs, average 56.71, 3x100, HS 201*, 4 catches
  • T20 Blast: 119 runs, average 13.22, HS 32, 3 catches
  • One-Day Cup: 227 runs, average 28.38, HS 89, 3 catches

BBC Radio London's Kevin Hand: "Nick Gubbins finally reached a well-deserved maiden first-class century this summer against Somerset - a team he had twice previously been out to in the nineties.

"The left-handed batsman continued to rack up the runs this term to reach 1,000 in the Championship in his first full season - and would have been the first to the milestone, but in his 16th innings was out with his tally on 999. In the same match, Keaton Jennings went past him in his 17th knock of the summer.

"Gubbins' finest hour, or indeed five hours, came at Trent Bridge when his controlled and composed 75 helped Middlesex recover from a dire position of 0-3 after a Jake Ball hat-trick.

"Although he had a quieter summer in limited-overs cricket this year, he has equal potential in white-ball cricket, which bodes well for the international career that few doubt he will have."

4. Ben Duckett (Northamptonshire)

  • Championship: 1,338 runs, average 60.82, 4x100, HS 282*, 9 catches, 1 stumping
  • T20 Blast: 477 runs, average 43.36, HS 84, 3 catches
  • One-Day Cup: 443 runs, average 63.29, 1x100, HS 121

BBC Radio Northampton's Alex Winter: "Ben Duckett has been a talented young prospect for some time and his consistent runs in the second half of the Championship last season marked his arrival at first-team level.

"Over the winter, he added a determination to make the most of his ability - improving his work ethic and talking of a hunger for runs and a love of batting, and they were far from just impressive words.

"All of his hundreds have been converted into huge match-defining scores this season and he has proved almost impossible to bowl at when in full flow.

"He's not your typical leftie - none of the languid style of a Gower or Moeen - but he elicits just as many astonished gasps as he takes attacks apart."

5. Sam Northeast (Kent)

Sam Northeast
Sam Northeast's Kent were in contention for promotion from Division Two but lost out to Essex
  • Championship: 1,103 runs, average 73.53, 4x100, HS 191, 5 catches
  • T20 Blast: 462 runs, average 33.00, HS 75, 3 catches
  • One-Day Cup: 274 runs, average 34.25, HS 66*, 5 catches

BBC Radio Kent's Matt Cole: "Sam's had another strong year with the bat - scoring 1,000 plus runs in the Championship for the second successive season and showing his class and versatility in white-ball cricket.

"All that in his first full season as Kent skipper, a role he's taken to with calm assurance and no little success. Far from being detrimental to his batting, the captaincy appears to have enhanced it - with three 'daddy' hundreds in the Championship.

"His foot movement, ability to score all around the wicket and apparent ease switching between formats have drawn comparisons with Joe Root.

"It's left many at Canterbury and beyond wondering what he has to do to earn higher honours."

6. Ben Foakes (Surrey)

Ben Foakes
Ben Foakes has effected 46 dismissals in the Championship this season
  • Championship: 759 runs, average 42.17, 1x100, HS 141*, 43 catches, 3 stumpings
  • T20 Blast: 58 runs, average 14.50, HS 22*, 9 catches, 2 stumpings
  • One-Day Cup: 330 runs, average 47.14, HS 90, 13 catches, 1 stumping

BBC Radio London's Mark Church: "Ben Foakes has had a tremendous season both with the bat and the gloves. His runs have all come at important times for Surrey and he has proved he has the game to bat in any situation.

"One of his best attributes is his intelligence at the crease and how quickly he adapts to the situation of a game. He scores important runs and has a calmness about the way he plays in the middle-order.

"Behind the stumps he has been outstanding both to the quicks and the spin of Batty and Ansari. He is a proper wicket keeper in every sense and the best accolade I can give him is that you don't really notice he is there because he is so neat and tidy.

"I have no doubt that England will come calling sooner rather than later."

7. Graham Napier (Essex)

Graham Napier
Veteran Essex all-rounder Graham Napier is retiring at the end of the season
  • Championship: 298 runs, average 22.92, 1x100, HS 124, 63 wickets, average 23.17, BB 5-59, 2 catches
  • T20 Blast: 48 runs, average 16.00, HS 21*, 22 wickets, average 16.77, BB 3-28, 6 catches
  • One-Day Cup: 32 runs, average 8.00, HS 17, 12 wickets, average 23.33, BB 3-50, 1 catch

BBC Essex's Glenn Speller: "Ask Graham Napier why he's had such a great season and he gives two answers - being determined to enjoy his final season as a professional and staying fit.

"The all-rounder has been the go-to man this season. Need a wicket? Throw the ball the Napier. Need a match winning/saving innings? Call for Napier.

"It's taken him his whole career to hit 50 Championship wickets in a season and his century to save the match against Sussex on his home ground at Colchester was a real 'I was there moment…'

"Napier will leave a big hole for Essex to fill."

8. Ollie Rayner (Middlesex)

Ollie Rayner
Ollie Rayner has taken 50 Championship wickets in 2016, at an average of 22
  • Championship: 50 wickets, average 22.00, BB 6-79, 85 runs, HS 26, 15 catches
  • T20 Blast: 5 wickets, average 22.60, BB 3-23, 15 runs, HS 13, 1 catch
  • One-Day Cup: 6 wickets, average 41.00, BB 2-40, 38 runs, HS 21*, 6 catches

BBC Radio London's Kevin Hand: "Ollie Rayner is a prime example of how the development of English spinners was slowed for many years by the structure of the County Championship.

"With the introduction of the uncontested toss this year, in part to produce fewer green tops, the tall off-spinner has improved dramatically, thanks to the longer spells of bowling afforded him.

"Rayner, who is 6ft 5ins, has thought more about his game and consulted team-mates more about strategy and tactics during matches this year, and with the extra grip and turn, it has been harder for batsmen to knock slow bowlers out of the attack.

"His batting has helped keep him in the Middlesex first team, which is why the spotlight has always been on him and given him a platform to voice his concerns for all English spinners, and although he has missed out on a Test call, his best years may be ahead of him."

9. Keith Barker (Warwickshire)

Keith Barker
Keith Barker was a youth player with football club Blackburn Rovers before pursuing a career in cricket
  • Championship: 54 wickets, average 24.20, BB 5-53, 563 runs, 1x100, HS 113, 6 catches
  • T20 Blast: 4 wickets, average 25.75, BB 3-34, 5 runs, HS 4*, 2 catches
  • One-Day Cup: 1 wicket, average 29.00, BB 1-29, did not bat

BBC WM's Richard Wilford: "Keith Barker has become the model of consistency for Warwickshire. But for him and Jeetan Patel, this season's relegation battle might already have been lost.

"Described only last week by Somerset skipper Chris Rogers as 'one of the best swing bowlers in the country', the former footballer has added almost 600 Championship runs to his 50-plus wickets, frequently bailing out the Bears from dire positions.

"For captain Ian Bell, the hardest challenge has often been prising the ball out of Barker's hands as recent opening spells of 12 or more overs testify. Few Championship attacks have more reliable leaders."

10. Jack Brooks (Yorkshire)

Jack Brooks
Jack Brooks has taken more than 50 Championship wickets for the third successive season
  • Championship: 53 wickets, average 26.19, BB 5-53, 250 runs, average 31.25, HS 48, 3 catches
  • One-Day Cup: 1 wicket, average 42.00, BB 1-42, did not bat

BBC Radio Leeds' Dave Callaghan: "Yorkshire paceman Jack Brooks has done it again. Despite losing some cricket to injury he has gone past 50 championship wickets for the season to continue an impressive career with the back to back title winners.

"It is fair to say the 'headband warrior', as he is known, can go for a few runs now and then, but he is a prolific wicket-taker and thus adds great value to Yorkshire's fine pace attack.

"His batting has improved as well. At times he has come to the rescue with runs from his position at number 10.

"A fine cricketer, who gives his all on every occasion - and deserves to make this team for the third successive year."

11. Jake Ball (Nottinghamshire)

  • Championship: 43 wickets, average 23.37, BB 5-66, 140 runs, average 10.00, 3 catches
  • T20 Blast: 9 wickets, average 32.00, BB 2-18, 4 runs, HS 2*, 5 catches
  • One-Day Cup: 6 wickets, average 40.83, BB 2-47, 34 runs, HS 27, 3 catches

BBC Radio Nottingham's Dave Bracegirdle: "Jake Ball doesn't just get wickets, he gets important wickets, and the England selectors know that and have had a good look at him in 2016.

"Travelling the length and breadth of the country as an international squad member has come at a price though.

"A Test debut against Pakistan and a spot in the one-day touring party for Bangladesh have been his reward for another outstanding campaign, but his county have been without Jake's services for five and a half Championship matches; a major factor in their relegation perhaps?

"He set his stall out at the start of the season with a winning five-for against Surrey and then followed it with seven, including Joe Root twice, in the televised game against Yorkshire.

"That form has been carried throughout the campaign, right up until his heroics a fortnight ago against Middlesex, with match figures of 9-120, including a stunning hat-trick; the first of his career."

Compiled by Paul Grunill

*Statistics correct prior to final round of County Championship fixtures


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Top Stories

Explore the BBC