Surrey batsman Rory Burns is the winner of the 2013 LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player Award, following in the footsteps of Yorkshire's Joe Root who won the award in its inaugural year last season.
Launched by County Championship title sponsors LV=, the award is intended to recognise the most promising young talent under the age of 24 competing in the domestic competition.
Burns was one of six players shortlisted for this year's award, as selected by a panel of judges including Managing Director of Cricket Partnerships at the ECB, Mike Gatting and PCA Chairman Mark Wallace.
Competition for the award came from Yorkshire's Gary Ballance, Durham all-rounder Scott Borthwick, Leicestershire's Shiv Thakor, Sussex batsman Luke Wells and Northamptonshire’s David Willey.
Twenty-two-year-old Burns was presented with his award at the Kia Oval by former England skipper Gatting. As part of his award, Burns also nominated the Tom Maynard Trust to receive a £1,000 donation from LV=, as part of their commitment to nurturing the next generation of cricketers.
Gatting said: “Rory has had a great season for Surrey and is fully deserving of the LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player of the Year Award. Competition for the award this year was strong, and it is encouraging to see thousands of county cricket fans supporting the young players coming through the County Championship.
“Rory has a bright future, and he should be congratulated on receiving this special award.”
Burns added: “I am genuinely surprised to have won the award and it is a real honour to have been voted for by so many cricket fans.
“The other nominees are all players I really admire so to win the award is a huge achievement and one that I am very proud of.
“I have really enjoyed my first full season of first class cricket, I feel I have made some useful contributions and I am looking forward to building on my performances next season.
“I would like to thank Surrey for giving me the opportunity over the past 12 months to open the batting in the LV= County Championship and I must also thank all the Surrey members and supporters that voted for me.”
Claire Jeromson, head of sponsorship at LV=, said: “Congratulations to Rory on winning the LV= County Championship Breakthrough Player Award. He has had an incredible season, so it is great that we can reward him.
“The response to the award from fans is testament to the level of talent playing in the County Championship and players like Rory coming through the ranks proves the domestic game is in great health.”