Durham prize guy Chris on a real high

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DURHAM star Chris Rushworth is still having to pinch himself after a season to remember.

Rushworth was last night named bowler of the year at Durham’s Awards night.

The Sunderland-born seamer took 55 first-class wickets as the side claimed the 2013 County Championship, including a career-best 6-64 against Derbyshire.

The former Hylton Cricket Club man also took 20 Yorkshire Bank 40 wickets and 13 scalps in the T20 competition.

Not bad for a man released by Durham in 2006!

But having fought his way back into the reckoning at Durham, Rushworth has more than repaid the faith shown in him.

And he admits there’s no better feeling having helped his home county to silverware.

“I’m buzzing at the moment,” he said. “It’s slowly sinking in what the lads have acheived this season, and it’s great to be a part of it.

“Taking 50+ wickets in the County Championship was fantastic and winning the trophy is something that will stick with me for a long time.

“When I was released by Durham, it made me hungrier to show that I could perform at this level.

“I’ve worked very hard during last winter to try to get myself in the best possible shape, and hopefully what has happened this season has proved that it was all worth it.

“It certainly feels like it was.”

Rushworth knows exactly what the win means to the club and its fans having grown up just a few miles down the road from the Chester-le-Street ground.

He added: “I think it probably does make it a little bit more special being a local lad.

“It definitely feels special.

“I grew up as a Durham fan, and saw how much it meant when they won the titles in 2008 and 2009. Now I’m part of a championship-winning side, which is fantastic.

There was a hat-trick of successes for Sunderland-born Scott Borthwick last night.

Borthwick was named player of the year, batsman of the year and fielder of the year.

The spinner scored 1,530 runs, including 1,121 in the Championship, and took 49 wickets and 37 catches.

Young player of the year went to Ben Stokes, who had a superb season in all forms, including taking a five-fer for England, and winning a place on this winter’s Ashes tour.

The players’ player award went to Graham Onions, who took 73 first-class wickets. 10 YB40 and four T20.

Batsman Keaton Jennings won the community player of the year award, while Usman Arshad, who ended the season in Durham’s first team. was voted second XI player of the year.