The 2021 County Championship season came to end today with Warwickshire securing their first title since 2012. Here is Wisden’s team of the 2021 County Championship.
Tom Haines (Sussex)
1,176 runs @ 47.04, three hundreds; HS: 156
The leading run-scorer in the County Championship by more than 100 runs, the 2021 summer saw Haines realise the potential that earned him a first-class debut at 17 back in 2016. His 155 against Lancashire in the opening round of the season was one of the knocks of the summer.
Rob Yates (Warwickshire)
797 runs @ 37.76, four hundreds; HS: 132*
Another 22-year-old left-hander at the top of the order. There were a few openers – Adam Lyth, Mark Stoneman Sam Robson and Jake Libby – who scored more runs than Yates, but the Warwickshire youngster played a number of innings of significance. Back in April, he scored a fourth innings hundred against County Championship favourites Essex to oversee a difficult run chase, and in September he demonstrated his range by hitting a swift hundred in the final round against Somerset to set up a declaration. One to keep an eye on.
Josh Bohannon (Lancashire)
853 runs @ 53.31, two hundreds; HS: 170
A steady presence near the top of the Lancashire order. Compact with a hint of Jonathan Trott about him, particularly in his leg-side flicks through mid-wicket, Bohannon was a key figure in Lancashire’s pursuit of the title.
David Bedingham (Durham)
1,029 runs @ 60.52, three hundreds; HS: 257
Briefly threatened to pass 1,000 runs before the end of May before tailing off towards the end of the season. Still though, a mightily impressive season for the South African-born batter who finishes the summer as one of the few players to average over 60.
Ben Brown (Sussex)
976 runs @ 51.36, four hundreds; HS: 157
Another good year for Brown who ended up batting three for Sussex by the season’s close. Brown has been one of the most consistent run-scorers in the county game over the past six or so years and with a record like his, he can count himself unlucky to have never been included in an England Test squad.
Matt Critchley (Derbyshire)
1,000 runs @ 43.47, one hundred; HS: 109
32 wickets @ 38.43, one five-for; BBI: 5-67
A superb first-class summer for Critchley, who reached the 1,000-run mark off the last ball of Derbyshire’s season. Once tipped to play for England by Stuart MacGill, this was a breakout season for the Derbyshire all-rounder.
Darren Stevens (Kent)
650 runs @ 43.33, three hundreds; HS: 190
39 wickets @ 18.58, two five-fors; BBI: 5-53
At 46, he’s still as good as he’s ever been. With the ball, he was predictably brilliant and with the bat, he entertained like few others can – his 190 against Glamorgan in May contained an extraordinary 15 sixes.
Simon Harmer (Essex)
53 wickets @ 23.36, three-fors; BBI: 9-80
By Harmer’s extraordinary recent standards, 2021 was a relatively quiet summer for the Essex off-spinner. He still managed to sneak in a nine-for against Derbyshire at Chelmsford.
Luke Fletcher (Nottinghamshire)
66 wickets @ 14.90, four five-fors; BBI: 7-37
The spearhead of Notts’ unlikely title charge, Fletcher finished the season as the country’s leading wicket-taker. Metronomic with the new ball, Fletcher is a key figure in the county’s remarkable red-ball turnaround, where they have gone from a side without a win in three years to one with realistic aspirations of winning the County Championship.
Tom Bailey (Lancashire)
50 wickets @ 16.86, one five-for, BBI: 7-37
Not the most heralded member of the Lancashire attack – after all, they also boast James Anderson, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson among their ranks – but the most effective over the course of the 2021 summer. His crowning performance was his final round seven-for that was pivotal in keeping Lancashire’s title hopes alive.
Sam Cook (Essex)
58 wickets @ 14.43, three five-fors, BBI: 5-20
Ever since he broke into the Essex first team in 2017, Cook has been one of the most prolific wicket-takers in the country. Cook is accurate and is not as reliant on movement through the air as other bowlers at a similar pace. Another superb season.