Norfolk captain Chris Brown bowls his way to a top Minor Counties honour

Action from Norfolk's 2016 season - Chris Brown.Picture: Tim Ferley

Action from Norfolk's 2016 season - Chris Brown.Picture: Tim Ferley - Credit: Tim Ferley

Chris Brown has officially been crowned the best bowler in Minor Counties cricket this season – becoming the first Norfolk bowler in 27 years to achieve the feat.

The off-spinner enjoyed one of the best seasons of his life, his 38 wickets taking his overall haul for Norfolk past 500 during the course of the 2016 campaign.

Norfolk's captain is now set to be rewarded with the prestigious Frank Edwards Trophy at the Minor Counties Cricket Association's annual general meeting at Lord's on Thursday, December 15.

The 42-year-old Horsford bowler knew he was in the running to finish top of the national bowling list for 2016, but had to wait for the outcome of the Unicorns MCCA Championship final between Berkshire and Lincolnshire.

With closest rival Tom Nugent not taking a wicket in Berkshire's 28-run win, Brown could be sure of his achievement.

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'I was at Loughborough when the call came through and I was waiting on the Championship final but it wasn't Tom Nugent who took the wickets, it was Chris Peploe, my old Unicorns team-mate in the Clydesdale Bank 40-over competition,' Brown said.

'I'm delighted with it as a personal achievement. Winning the Second XI Championship with Lancashire back in 1997 is obviously up there and winning the European Championship with the ECB XI, as team achievements, as well as a trophies with Norfolk in 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2009.

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'But as a personal milestone, to be ranked as the best in the national Minor Counties bowling list, at my age as well, is great.'

Brown took a total of 38 wickets for 583 runs in six matches, to finish with an exceptional average of 15.34, helping Norfolk to finish joint fourth in the Championship.

He came within one wicket of becoming the first ever Norfolk bowler to take five wickets in an innings in five consecutive matches and becomes just the fourth Norfolk bowler to win the award, following on from Terry Barnes (1982), Parvez Mir (1984) and David Thomas (1989).

'There were four games in a row when I took five wickets so it's always nice to be contributing and to cap off the season with the Frank Edwards Trophy, with all the illustrious names who have gone before me, is really nice,' Brown continued.

'Taking seven for 47 against Buckinghamshire in the second innings to bowl them out, and to get man of the match, does stand out.

'But also the second innings at Cumberland, to get four wickets to help beat last season's champions, does stand out as well.'

Click here for the full MCCA bowling list.

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