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Graham Napier: This has been my best ever season for Essex
2:00pm Wednesday 25th September 2013 in Sport
GRAHAM Napier rates this season as his finest ever.
The Essex all-rounder has enjoyed a year to remember, helping him secure club’s Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year awards.
He also scooped the county’s batsman of the year award and Essex’s champagne moment, following his four wickets in four balls against Surrey in the Yorkshire Bank 40.
Napier, 33, has been in outstanding form throughout with bat and ball and is currently fifth in the Professional Cricketers Association’s Most Valuable Player rankings.
Napier said: “I think this has been the best season of my career and winning the awards was probably one of the achievements of my career so far.
“The Players’ Player of the Year award was particularly special to me, because it was voted for by my peers.
“It was in no way expected — I’ve had a good year but so have the likes of James Foster and Reece Topley.
“It’s been great to play consistently this year because I’ve been free of injuries and that is something I want to maintain.
“As long as I’m out there on the park playing, then things tend to look after themselves and the difference has been immense.”
Napier today embarks on the second day of Essex’s final County Championship division two game of the season against Hampshire in Southampton.
Essex, who look set to be pipped to promotion by Northants, reached Twenty20 Finals Day and also performed well in the YB40.
“We were so close on so many fronts, right up until the key moments,” added Napier, who made his first-class debut back in 1997. “But unfortunately, we’ve not managed to get any further than that.”