It seems only a few short years ago a teenage quick from Yeoval was being hailed as the best bowler in Western Zone.
Now, Chris Tremain has been recognised as the best player in Australia’s domestic competition.
Tremain has been named the JLT Sheffield Shield player of the year after a career-best season.
The Victorian Bushrangers’ spearhead finished the summer as the shield’s leading wicket-taker with 51 scalps at an average of 21.07 including two five-wicket hauls and polled 13 votes to win the MVP award by the narrowest of margins.
Twenty-one of those wickets came in the final three rounds too, Tremain inspiring Victoria’s unlikely push to the final after the Bushrangers went winless through the opening rounds of the season.
He finished just one vote clear of the joint runners-up, Tasmania’s Jackson Bird and Nick Winter (12). The next best, polling 11 votes, were Queensland’s Usman Khawaja and Western Australia’s Hilton Cartwright.
His stunning effort with ball in hand was far and away the competition’s best too, Tremain finished 13 wickets clear of his nearest rival in Victorian teammate Scott Boland.
To finish the season as the leading wicket-taker is a nice reward.Victoria's Chris Tremain
"I'm very humbled to have been awarded the Sheffield Shield player of the season in a year where so many players across the competition have performed to a high standard, especially my Victorian teammates and the bowling group I have the privilege of working with," Tremain told cricket.com.au.
Although stoked to win Tremain did concede the award, his first, would’ve been even more special if his side’s tilt at a fourth straight title was still alive – instead Queensland and Tasmania will fight it out in this week’s final.
"Naturally we'd love to be competing in this week's final, but to finish the season as the leading wicket-taker is a nice reward for me and my hard work during the season,” the 26-year-old said.
Thanks to his bumper campaign and now the player of the year title, Tremain has massively pressed his claims to be included in Australia’s Test squad for its away series’ against Zimbabwe and Pakistan and the next summer’s blockbuster home series against India, although the Baggy Greens’ pace-bowling stocks remain stacked.
Of the competition’s other awards, Queensland won the men’s spirit of cricket trophy and Victoria won the women’s equivalent.
Western Australia's D'Arcy Short was named the Lord's Taverners Indigenous player of the year, while Paul Wilson won the umpire of the year.