Ronnie Hira has been in scintillating form for the Canterbury Kings during the Twenty20 campaign and is the deserved winner of the Fujitsu Heat Pumps MVP award for the competition.
Tasked with opening the innings Hira showed he has more to his game than his miserly left arm orthodox skills, finishing the Georgie Pie Super Smash 6th highest run scorer with 273 at 30.33 and the impressive strike rate of 151.67.
Hira's canny approach to bowling provided Canterbury Kings skipper, Peter Fulton with the confidence to introduce Hira at any stage of the innings. Despite bowling during periods with the harshest fielding restrictions Hira was able to limit the scoring off his bowling to 6.5 per over, while also picking up 10 wickets.
However, the pursuit of the Super Smash title is what drives the players and the Kings campaign was looking strong for a long period of time only to fall just short of qualification for the finals series.
"We were gutted to miss the chance to contest the finals this year, but I am sure as time passes it will be nice to reflect on this achievement" said Hira.
"It gives me great pleasure to make a $100 donation* to The Cricketers Hardship Trust as a result of securing the MVP award"
Kim Naylor, Fujitsu Heat Pumps General Manager, was delighted by the performances of all players and acknowledged Hira's performances in saying "the Fujitsu Heat Pumps team would like to congratulate Ronnie Hira from the Canterbury Kings on his superb efforts out there on the pitch and are proud to name him as the Fujitsu Heat Pump MVP winner for the Domestic Twenty20 Competition. Well done Ronnie!"
Hira takes over the Twenty20 Fujitsu Heat Pumps MVP award from Knights player Anton Devcich - another left arm orthodox bowler tasked with the role of aggressor at the top of the batting order - and highlights the important contribution multi-skilled players make to their teams prospect of victory.
The trend for all-rounders to congregate at the summit of the MVP leader board is reinforced with this season's final Fujitsu Heat Pumps MVP standings.
1. Ronnie Hira - Kings
Total MVP Points = 136.68; Batting 69.17 (4th); Bowling 59.51 (5th)
2. Rob Nicol - Aces
Total MVP Points = 121.05; Batting 75.45 (3rd); Bowling 24.60 (30th)
3. Daniel Flynn - Knights
Total MVP Points = 111.16; Batting 89.16 (2nd)
4. Andrew Ellis - Kings
Total MVP Points = 107.00; Batting 23.21 (28th); Bowling 75.79 (1st)
5. Grant Elliott - Firebirds
Total MVP Points = 100.03; Batting 34.56 (19th); Bowling 57.47 (7th)
Ranking place shown in brackets
Everyone know that individual players cannot win a competition on their own and although the Kings had two players in the top five MVP positions, it was eventual champions, Wellington Firebirds, who had the greatest representation at the summit of the leader board with Grant Elliott, Jeetan Patel, Michael Pollard and Luke Woodcock inside the top 11 places.
This emulates the dominance of Knights players featuring strongly on the MVP in their winning campaign last summer. One thing is for sure, to be in contention at the business end of the competition teams need to have a number of players offering up MVP performances and therefore banking Fujitsu Heat Pumps MVP points.
View the Fujitsu Heat Pumps MVP table.
*The Fujitsu Heat Pumps MVP winners are able to nominate a Charity where a donation is made on their behalf.