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Tuesday 12 December 2017

Nominees named in Aengus Fanning memorial 'Emerging Player' award

Cricketers James Shannon, Stuart Thompson and Max Sorensen have been revealed as the short-listed nominees for the 'Aengus Fanning International Emerging Player of the Year' Award.

The award is named in honour of the former Sunday Independent editor and cricketing enthusiast Aengus Fanning, who died earlier this year following a brave battle against illness.

James Shannon, 22, played 10 times in the voting period, scoring 356 runs at 27.38, making two half centuries. His top score of 59 came against South Africa A in the four-day game at Oak Hill.

Stuart Thompson played 13 times, scoring 340 runs at 37.78, with two half centuries. His top score of 93 came in the famous A team win against Gloucestershire 2nd XI. In addition, the 21-year-old took 23 wickets at 19, with a best bowling return of 4 for 56 against Kent 2nd XI.

Max Sorensen was the leading wicket taker in the category, taking 37 wickets in his 22 appearances at an average of just 17.46. He won the Man of the Match in the ICC World Twenty20 play-off win against Namibia, a victory which secured Ireland's place in Sri Lanka.

Ireland coach Phil Simmons was full of praise for the three nominees, saying: "The three guys have been excellent since their introduction into senior international cricket and acquitted themselves superbly. Their application and talent have seen them turn in valuable performances from the outset.

"James Shannon batted superbly in the games against a very strong South Africa A side, and showed just how strong his technique is. Stuart Thompson has graduated from the A ranks and proven himself capable of taking big wickets. He's also got plenty of time when batting and I'm sure the month spent in Sri Lanka will be of great benefit to his cricket.

"Max Sorensen has a magnificent attitude, and that work ethic coupled with ability is a potent combination. I expect him to be a regular fixture in the senior ranks for many years to come," Phil Simmons said.

Anne Harris, editor of the Sunday Independent, said of the award: "If there was one thing which linked Aengus's achievements in journalism and his love of cricket, it was his admiration of excellence -- whether it was a beautifully crafted sentence or a powerfully struck cover drive, he could see the talent that lay behind each.

"He also believed in giving youth its chance, providing a platform for the start of many careers in journalism. So I think he would have been delighted to have his name associated with this award, sponsored by the Sunday Independent Cricket Society, for the international emerging player."

The inaugural RSA Cricket Ireland Awards will take place in the Round Room of the Mansion House on Friday November 16.

Seats and table sales are available now, for what is a gala celebration of Irish cricket hosted by Today FM's Matt Cooper. For further details visit

Sunday Independent

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