Fifteen players assembled in Auckland today for the annual Players’ Conference.
The conference provides players with an opportunity to discuss and debate matters within the professional cricketing environment, as well as providing players' collective thoughts on proposals and issues for the upcoming season.
Last year Andrew Ellis proved his worth in domestic cricket by earning the MVP award for the first time. This year, he becomes the first player to retain the MVP award.
Throughout 2015/16 Ellis has demonstrated his value to Canterbury across all three formats. The experienced Cantabrian adds to a long list of career achievements and confirms his status as a leading domestic player by doubling-up on the coveted domestic MVP title.
Bharat Popli stamped his mark on the first class scene with an astonishing series of performances this summer. Surpassing a century on three occasions and with a top score of 172 the talented right hander also became the fifth player to score more than 1000 domestic first class runs in a season.
So often in the past the Plunket Shield MVP has belonged to all-rounders, but the revamped CricHQ MVP formula has balanced the ledger.
Auckland swatted away a spirited Wellington in the final, on their way to notching up a third successive Masters Championship in Queenstown over the weekend.
Wellington qualified for the final by beating Canterbury in the opening match and then easily accounting for last year’s finalists Northern in the afternoon match. Buoyed by a convincing win in both matches the capital side had reason to be optimistic of securing their first Masters title, especially when 2015 tournament MVP, Guy Coleman, succumbed to a calf injury in the opening match of the weekend.
Another remarkable weekend looms as the six Major Association teams arrive in Queenstown for the annual Masters Tournament, to be played on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd April.
Auckland are seeking a third successive title at the Queenstown Events Centre, but with a few personal changes - including last year’s inspirational skipper Kerry Walmsley – the quest for a rare three peat will be challenging.