Middlesex batsman: Elation of County Championship triumph will be hard to surpass
10:30 29 September 2016
PA Wire/Press Association Images
Stevie Eskinazi admits it may be hard to top the satisfaction of helping Middlesex to County Championship glory in the rest of his career.
The 22-year-old batsman, who had made just one four-day appearance prior to this season – against Yorkshire at Lord’s a year ago – featured in more than half of Middlesex’s Division One fixtures, scoring 609 runs at an average of 43.5.
He said: “To win a championship under any circumstances is very special but to do it the way that we did, it’s going to be remembered for a long, long time.
“I’m never going to forget this – I can’t imagine it gets too much better than this moment. It’s not just a really good group of cricketers, it’s a really good group of blokes as well.
“I’ve come to learn a lot about Middlesex in my time here – it’s an incredible club and place and the people make it special.
“To be able to make history – to help make these fans, coaching staff, support staff and other players happy – is definitely the proudest moment of my career.
“There’s all that trepidation at the start of the year, when you’re not sure how it’s going to go or what opportunities you’re going to get.
“To be able to contribute to the first team in a positive way is a special feeling and something I’m extremely proud of – it’s a goal I set myself when I came to the club.
“I’m a bit disappointed to fall away form-wise towards the back end of the year, but those are the ups and downs for a young player. Hopefully I can take what I’ve learned and come back next year a better player.”
Eskinazi, who grew up in Western Australia, made his maiden century for Middlesex against Lancashire in June and added another in the following match, the win over Yorkshire at Scarborough.
He recorded his third highest score of the campaign – an unbeaten 78 – in the return game at Lord’s as Middlesex cashed in on some generous Yorkshire bowling to set up a declaration on the final day.
While the agreement between the two captains drew criticism from some quarters, Eskinazi felt they deserved praise for ensuring an exciting finish to the fight for the Championship pennant.
“It’s not for me to dive into the politics of four-day cricket,” he said. “As a 22-year-old in Middlesex’s side, you do exactly as you’re told!
“I’m just listening to the captain and the coaching staff and trying to do my best out there on the field.
“In my opinion, these were the two best sides in the country throwing punches and no-one, including myself, knew what was going to happen from one day of the game to the next.
“It was extraordinary to see how events unfolded and I take my hat off to both captains for making a game of it.
“That’s why people come here to watch, that’s why the game’s on TV and I think that’s the way four-day cricket should be played. It’s been amazing.”