It's been one of the most hectic - but also one of the most memorable - county seasons on record.
The County Championship race went right down to the wire before Nottinghamshire clinched victory in a remarkable finish, Somerset also suffered heartbreak on Twenty20 Finals Day as they lost to Hampshire and Marcus Trescothick's side then lost a fine CB40 Final to Warwickshire as Ian Bell stroked a magnificent hundred.
Bell's was a standout performance and no mistake - but as the FTI Most Valuable Player (MVP) standings show, he wasn't the only player to deliver when it mattered.
Former Kent captain David Fulton has reported all over the country for Sky Sports News this summer, so who better to select a side capable of taking on all-comers across all competitions?
Dave Fulton's County team of the year
1) JIMMY ADAMS (Hants): The gritty left-hander has combined a solid technique in the championship with the ability to give the ball a mighty whack in the shorter forms. Unlike a lot of strikers at the top of the order in T20 cricket he goes on to get match-winning scores. He scored 668 runs in the FPt20 including two hundreds which helped his total across all cricket reach 2515 runs
2) MARCUS TRESCOTHICK (Somerset - CAPTAIN): Trescothick is one of the most feared and respected opponents on the circuit. He finished fourth in this year's FTI MVP having won the title the year before. He scored 2335 runs across all forms of the game including three hundreds in the championship run-in as Somerset pushed for their first ever title. His captaincy, a little conservative at first, became inspirational. His declaration at Colchester - having scored 228 - which left Essex over two days to chase 450, was perhaps his finest hour.
3) MOEEN ALI (Worcs): Ali has been the shining light at Worcs for the last couple of seasons. Still only 22 he can dissect bowling attacks with his flashing blade. All wrists and guile he can also give the ball a thump that belies his stature. He scored 2028 runs across all forms, 1260 of which came in the championship. He'll also give a second spin option to Trescothick having at times played a frontline role at Worcestershire.
4) JAMES HILDRETH (Somerset): Hildreth was the leading run-scorer across all forms with 2526 runs, 1440 of which came in the Championship (third highest aggregate behind Mark Ramprakash and Adam Lyth) and 627 of which came in the CB40 (second behind Jacques Rudolph). Hildreth can be impossible to bowl at when in full flow and has delivered upon his abundant promise in spades this year.
5) DARREN STEVENS (Kent): Stevens fought a one-man battle for much of the season at Kent. He hit four hundreds in seven knocks in the championship early in the summer and opened the bowling for much of the second half. He helped the England Lions to success in their tri-series with India A and West Indies A and is always a threat in the shorter forms.
6) STEVE DAVIES (Surrey - WK): The winter move from Worcestershire paid off in the end for the talented left-hander, who forced his way back in to the England fold with some classy performances for his new county. Opening the batting and keeping is never easy but Davies often made it look exactly that. Can bat anywhere in the top order and rarely makes a mistake with the gloves.
7) ADIL RASHID (Yorks): The one glaring omission from the winter squads, Rashid finished second in the FTI MVP having scored 904 runs and taken 95 wickets across all forms. He topped the LV=CC FTI MVP scoring 6 championship fifties and taking 57 wickets. A very good pair of hands in the slips/gully region makes him almost the perfect all-round cricketer to bat at number seven in my team
8) CHAMINDA VAAS (Northants - overseas): The overseas signing of the summer, Vaas topped the FPt20 FTI MVP, having turned himself into a dasher of an opening batsman. He hit four fifties, 45 fours and 11 sixes in his 423 runs, while with the ball he conceded at a miserly 6.33 runs per over in the T20 campaign. He hardly played in the championship but his pedigree tells us that he would perform well and his leftr-arm style would bring Ali's off-spin more into the equation courtesy of the footmarks.
9) NEIL CARTER (Warks): The FTI MVP of the year had an outstanding season with bat and ball across all forms. He scored 1270 runs and took 80 wickets, 51 of which came in the championship. Always a dangerous customer with ball in hand he pitched the ball up more in 2010 and got his rewards. His method with the bat is uncomplicated but mighty effective helping Warwickshire to the CB40 title with some fast starts, while in the championship he salvaged some top-order collapses with some lusty hitting in alliance with the tail.
10) CHRIS WOAKES (Warks): Carter's new-ball partner finished the season in great style helping his team to four wins out of the last five championship matches. He took 11 wickets in the match against Kent and 26 wickets in the last six innings in which he bowled. He also notched a fabulous hundred against Hampshire. This team bats deep!
11) ALFONSO THOMAS (Somerset): The country's leading wicket-taker with 109 scalps across all forms, Thomas ran in for Trescothick all summer. Possessed of a great attitude and willingness to bowl he also has a skiddy yard of pace and the ability to swing both the old ball and new. Thomas was the leading wicket-taker in both the FPt20 and the CB40 and took 49 wickets in the championship.
Do you agree with Dave's selection? Let us know by filling out the feedback form below...
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Antony Hamilton says...
Would go for Kieswetter rather than Davies
Posted 12:33 2nd October 2010
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