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Stefan hooks top award

Stefan Hook … Outstanding 2020-21 season, notching 23 Furlong Cup wickets at an average of 13.48. PHOTOS/FILE

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CHRIS COGDALE
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Wairarapa fast-medium bowler Stefan Hook has been rewarded for an outstanding representative season, being named the Central Districts Furlong Cup player of 2020-21.

The 26-year-old was in devastating form, snaring 25 wickets, at an exceptional average of 13.48, over Wairarapa’s five Furlong Cup [Hawke Cup Zone Two] games.

That included a match best of 10 wickets for 92 runs, including 6-35 in the first innings, in the outright victory over Whanganui.

Stefan Hook [right] receiving the Furlong Cup Player of the Year from Wairarapa coach Neil Perry.
Hook got the trophy from Wairarapa coach Neil Perry at the Queen Elizabeth Park Oval on Monday and said he was a bit surprised to receive the recognition.

“It was quite cool once I realised it was an award, and it’s always good to get recognition for that sort of thing.

“At the end of the day, I would rather the team winning the Furlong [Cup] rather than an award like this, but it’s always good to be recognised for a good season,” he said.

Perry said Hook has been the most dangerous and effective bowler within the competition, and he thoroughly deserved it.

“He has spearheaded our attack since way before my time, and he’s probably been the best bowler over the past few years at CD A level as well, so it’s a fantastic achievement for him.

“I’m really pleased and proud of him.

“Hopefully, it’s that springboard for him to kick on and secure that first-class berth that he thoroughly deserves.”

Hook performed well for Central Districts A, with good wicket hauls against Northern Districts and Wellington, but missed out on adding to his one first-class appearance – against Wellington in March 2020.

Making that step to the first-class scene remains a strong ambition for the hardworking Hook, who has already started training for the next season.

In the meantime, he will concentrate on helping his province push for a rare Hawke Cup challenge.

With Hawke’s Bay the  holders of the Hawke Cup, and Zone Two having next season’s first challenge, and the possibility that runner-up in the Furlong Cup could be enough to earn a challenge, there might not be a better opportunity for Wairarapa, who finished only two points off second place last season.

“I want Wairarapa to do well, and we’re not too far away. Obviously we’re driving towards that, but I would like to be part of that first-class mix again,” Hook said.

Hook is also in touching distance of another milestone.

His 25 wickets have taken him to 126 [average 18.6], 15 short of the Wairarapa Hawke Cup record of 141 jointly held by Tony Short and Dave Biss.

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