NEEDLESS to say it was a pretty big night for Doug Bracewell.
The New Zealand international cricketer collected three awards at the 2011-12 ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards in Auckland on Thursday night.
"I'm obviously stoked to win them with some pretty good performances last season and the good players I played with contributed to that, too," the 22-year-old said yesterday just before boarding his flight back to Napier about midday.
The Taradale Cricket Club allrounder picked up the test Player of the Year Award as the most outstanding player last season, an award Brendon McCullum won last year.
Bracewell finished the 2011-12 season with an unmatched 37 test wickets at an average of 24.05. He claimed two match-winning five-wicket hauls, including a 6-40 to lead New Zealand to a famous seven-run win over Australia in Hobart after a 25-year drought.
The Devon Hotel Central Districts Stag also etched his name in the Winsor Cup, awarded to the bowler whose performances in men's first-class cricket have been the most meritorious.
Bracewell eclipsed fellow seamers Mark Gillespie, of Wellington, and Neil Wagner, of Otago, in claiming 41 wickets at an average of 23.82 with the best figures of 6-40.
To top off the evening, Bracewell claimed the Fans' Choice for Outstanding Individual Performance, which fans vote for nationally and which recognises stellar efforts either showcasing skills or having the power to alter the outcome of matches. Kane Williamson and retired CD seamer Michael Mason, Gillespie, current Stag Bevan Small and Black Cap Martin Guptill were the other nominees.
He was chuffed to know the country's faithful were behind him and the Black Caps but he didn't see the test award coming.
"It was a little bit of a surprise. I wasn't expecting it so it was a pleasant surprise."
No doubt Bracewell is disappointed in missing out on the Twenty/20 Black Caps squad for the tour of Sri Lanka at the end of this month.
"You always like to be part of all the forms of the game," said the player who made the lucrative IPL cut but didn't gain much game time.
Caps coach Mike Hesson, he said, wanted him to have a rest.
"He told me to be refreshed for the big schedule coming up," said Bracewell, who considers the test as his No1 form of the game and intends to play as many of them for his country as he can.
"Hopefully it's not a one-off for me so I want to back it [the awards] up with another this year," he said, looking to improve all facets of his game.
Sky TV will show highlights of the awards night at 12.30pm and 8.15pm today.