Tom is king of the counties

ALL SMILES: Award winner Tom Huggins
ALL SMILES: Award winner Tom Huggins
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Suffolk’s Tom Huggins has admitted he thought it was a wind-up when he was told he had won a national award for his batting prowess.

The Bury St Edmunds skipper’s revelation comes in an in-depth interview in the 2014 Suffolk County Cricket Association handbook.

Huggins was awarded the Wilfred Rhodes Trophy for the highest batting average in the whole of the Minor Counties Championship last season.

He scored 751 runs in 12 innings with three centuries and three 50s at an average of 83.44 as Suffolk finished runners-up to Cambridgeshire in the Eastern Division.

The 31-year-old said he did not even know the award existed until he received a phone call from former Suffolk skipper Phil Caley, who is now chairman of the Minor Counties cricket committee.

In a two-page interview, Huggins reveals: “Cales rang me and told me that I had won the award and I thought he was having me on. He had to convince me that he wasn’t.”

Huggins, who was presented with the trophy at Lord’s, became the first Suffolk player to receive the accolade since West Indian Timur Mohamed in 1979 — two years after the county’s only other winner, wicket-keeper/batsman Stuart Westley.

The all-rounder said: “Following in the footsteps of not only Timur and Stuart, but all the previous winners of the award, is something that I could only have dreamed of.

“During my first couple of years playing for Suffolk, I used to look at past players in the handbook and think about how I wanted to emulate them, looking at their records and wondering whether I could have as big an impact as they did.”

Huggins, who not surprisingly is featured on the front cover of the handbook, also talks about his future targets for Suffolk.

The 72-page handbook also contains reports and scorecards from all last season’s Minor Counties matches and reviews of all the county’s representative sides from under-nines to over-70s.

All the local leagues are also covered along with a variety of award winners and a two-page article on the old and new pavilions at the Victory Ground in Bury St Edmunds.

Copies of the handbook, cost £8 including postage, from Colin Munford, 5 Penshurst Road, Ipswich IP3 8QZ.Cheques should be made payable to Suffolk CCA.