• Walter Lawrence Trophy 2023

    Posted on October 3rd, 2023

    Record-Breaker Abbott Blasts His Way To The Trophy

    Surrey’s Sean Abbott has won this year’s Walter Lawrence Trophy after blasting his way into the T20 record books with a scintillating 34-ball hundred. The 31-year-old all-rounder’s century, scored against Kent at The Kia Oval on May 26, equalled the fastest ever ton in Blast history, which was scored by the late Australian, Andrew Symonds, in 2004 and was also the joint-fourth fastest ever in T20 history.

    Sean Abbott

    Sean Abbott
    Photograph: Surrey Cricket

    Abbott entered the fray in the Vitality Blast match with Surrey on 62 for 4 after 8.2 overs, and with six overs to go they had only progressed to 118 for 5, Abbott by then having made 28 from 17 balls. Then the warm night suddenly got hotter as 17,000 spectators were treated to a spectacular exhibition of power hitting by Abbott, who smashed 72 runs off just 17 balls to reach his 34-ball hundred and put Surrey into a commanding position. Abbott, whose previous highest score in 76 T20 matches was 41, thrashed 30 off Aussie bowler, Kane Richardson, in the 18th over, and soared to his century with his 11th six of the innings. Abbott finished on an unbeaten 110, hoisting Surrey’s total to 223 for 5 which Kent, despite an impressive opening stand of 108, fell short of chasing by 41 runs. Interviewed after the match, a beaming Abbott declared: ‘This isn’t going to sink in for a while. My first Blast game at The Kia Oval in front of a home crowd! I haven’t batted that well, so it was nice to go out there and make the most of it. I had a little bit of luck – but, boy, that was a lot of fun.’

    Abbott, who was born in Windsor, New South Wales, has represented his country in 17 One-Day Internationals and 12 T20 Internationals. He made his debut for New South Wales aged 18 and his consistent performances led to his international call-ups in 2014. A few weeks later tragedy struck as Abbott bowled the ball that fatally hit Phillip Hughes. Showing great strength of character he came back from the shocking incident remarkably well, taking 6 for 14 against Queensland on his return to first-class cricket, just 17 days later. In addition to Australia, NSW and Surrey, he has also represented Sydney Thunder, Sydney Sixers, Manchester Originals, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Parramatta and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

    Sean is the ninth Australian to win the Trophy, following in the footsteps of George Tribe (1953), Tom Moody (1990), Darren Lehmann (2000), Ian Harvey (2001), Damien Martyn (2003), Marcus North (2007), Adam Gilchrist (2010) and Daniel Christian (2014). He is the first Surrey player to win the award since Alistair Brown in 1998 and will receive £2,500 plus a special medallion at the Walter Lawrence Trophy Presentation Dinner in the Long Room at Lord’s on November 1st.

    Surrey v Kent scorecard
    Sean Abbott’s career statistics

    The Walter Lawrence Trophy, now in its 89th year, is awarded for the fastest hundred of the season and is open to all domestic county competitions as well as One-Day Internationals, T20 Internationals, The Hundred and Test matches in England.

    VIDEO:Every run from Sean Abbott’s knock against Kent Spitfires, Vitality Blast, 26 May 2023

    Tammy’s Dream Double-Hundred’s A Winner

    England’s Tammy Beaumont has won this year’s Walter Lawrence Women’s Award with a sensational score of 208 against Australia on June 24, which fired her into the international record books. Her 208 is the highest Test score by an England player, overtaking Betty Snowball’s 88-year-old record of 189, and the first double-hundred by an England player. She joins an elite list of only eight players to have achieved the feat and her 208 is the fifth highest score.

    After Australia had amassed a total of 474 in their first innings of the Ashes Test at Trent Bridge, opener Tammy dug in to lead the fight-back and was the final wicket to fall as England finished just 10 runs behind. Tammy’s vital contribution was scored off 331 balls and included 27 fours. Alas, her monumental innings was not enough to prevent the Aussies win the game by 89 runs on the fifth day.

    For the 32-year-old, right-handed bat, it was the realisation of a long-held dream to score a Test hundred, and also a welcome return to the international scene after being axed from the England T20 squad last year. In an interview with Sky Sports following her record-breaking knock, Tammy reflected on losing her place in the T20 set-up: ‘I went away, and asked myself if I even wanted to play anymore, I wondered whether it was time, whether I was past it … I decided I wasn’t. I thought, you know what? There’s life in the old girl yet. I’m only 32. So I worked hard, and changed my mindset to being as positive as possible, and get back to the Tammy Beaumont of a couple years ago.’

    Born in Dover, Tammy grew up playing cricket with her father and brother for Sandwich CC, before making her debut for Kent in 2007. She made her England ODI & T20I debuts in the West Indies in 2009, before successfully captaining the England Women’s Academy team on tours to Sri Lanka in 2014 and the UAE in 2015.

    Tammy has enjoyed a stellar run-scoring season and was recently named as 2023 PCA Women’s Player of the Year. To date, she has played in 8 Tests, 109 ODIs and 99 T20Is and, as well as Kent, she has played for Surrey Stars, Adelaide Strikers, Southern Vipers, Melbourne Renegades, The Blaze, Sydney Thunder, London Spirit and Welsh Fire.

    Tammy joins her England colleague Nat Sciver-Brunt as a three-time winner of the Walter Lawrence Women’s Award, having won it previously in 2016 and 2017, and will receive £2,500 plus a special medallion at the Walter Lawrence Trophy Presentation Dinner in the Long Room at Lord’s on November 1st.

    The Walter Lawrence Women’s Award is for the player who makes the highest individual score in a season from ECB domestic cup games and all England Women’s matches played on home soil.

    Henry’s Haul

    Henry Dobson of Leeds/Bradford UCCE has won this year’s Walter Lawrence University Award with a sumptuous innings of 155 scored against Loughborough UCCE at Leeds University, Weetwood on May 2. After being put in to bat, Henry and his opening partner, Nick Keast, shared a stand of 238, propelling the team to a total of 336 for 6 in their 50 overs, which proved too much for Loughborough who were bowled out for 219.

    Henry’s innings, scored off 152 balls and including 11 fours and 6 sixes, is the highest individual score by a Leeds/Bradford player in the British Universities & Colleges Sport competition, breaking the previous highest score of 152 by Jack Timby, who won the Walter Lawrence Award in 2021. Two days after his 155, the 23-year-old right-hand bat scored another century, 138, and was involved in another partnership of 210 against Cambridge UCCE. Despite a rain-disrupted BUCS season, he scored 370 runs in six games at an average of 92.50.

    As well as engaging in elite academy training programmes at Leeds/Bradford and Lancashire CCC, Henry has also been playing for Cheshire CCC. He is a trainee sport psychologist, applying for stage 2 in the profession, and has completed an MSc in sport and exercise psychology, as he works towards a career in professional cricket.

    Henry becomes the fourth Leeds/Bradford UCCE player to win the Walter Lawrence University Award in the last six presentations, and will receive £500 plus a special medallion at the Walter Lawrence Trophy Presentation Dinner in the Long Room at Lord’s on November 1st.

    Where There’s A Wilf There’s A Way

    Wilfred La Fontaine Jackson of Winchester College is this year’s Walter Lawrence Schools Award winner with a scintillating, unbeaten innings of 183 scored against MCC. The 17-year-old captain’s knock was scored off 158 balls and included 7 sixes and 26 fours, spearheading his team to 105-run victory on May 25.

    James Burridge, Winchester’s Master in Charge of Cricket recalls the match and Wilf’s season: ‘In terms of Wilf’s innings, he had to build it carefully against the new ball but was then able to accelerate. He was punishing against spin and, post lunch and reaching his hundred, he really began to display his full array of shots. After a destructive period of hitting, with him closing in on a double-century, he selflessly chose to declare in order to allow us extra overs at MCC. This proved pivotal with us having only a few overs to spare when the final MCC wicket fell. Wilf led the team excellently in the field, opting to place himself at short leg for much of the innings.

    Wilf played a similarly destructive innings against Bradfield at the start of the season and also added another century at the end of term to help him surpass 1,000 runs. Wilf led the team well in a predominantly successful summer.’

    Paul Gover, the college’s head coach, added: ‘Despite playing for School, Hampshire U.18s and Hampshire Second XI all during term time, he also achieved excellent A-level results. As one of our first intake of sports scholars, he has been a shining example of what can be achieved both from an academic and sport perspective. This may not be relevant but it is an important aspect of what we are trying to achieve here.’

    Wilf, who is currently playing cricket in Australia, is the twelfth winner of the Schools Award, which is for the highest score against MCC. His prize of a special medallion and a Gray-Nicolls cricket bat will be collected by his parents at the Walter Lawrence Trophy Presentation Dinner in the Long Room at Lord’s on November 1st.