No spin was required for standout Central Districts cricketers this summer but perhaps very few fans would have picked up the googly on the special-award retirement of Marty Kain.
Allrounder George Worker was named player of the year last night in Napier after appropriately carving up another century (130 runs/144 balls) in the final round of the Plunket Shield match at McLean Park on Saturday to help his side beat Auckland Aces by three wickets and deny them an outright victory to retain the crown. Canterbury Kings are the 2016-17 first-class champions.
Cruelly, left-hander Worker kept slipping through the cracks for Black Caps crease time this summer, especially in the white-ball format.
Not surprisingly another leftie, off-spinner Ajaz Patel, claimed kudos as the season's shield player after becoming the leading wicket-taker for consecutive summers, with 44 scalps from nine matches this season, one better than his 43 in 2015-16.
T20 Black Caps debutant Tom Bruce wasn't just the pick of Super Smash but was also named players' player of the year.
The bolter was Kain, 28, of Nelson - an affable spinner whose action retired India batsman Virender Sehwag once described as belonging to a praying mantis - after 30-plus white-ball caps following his red-ball debut in 2009, which spawned three matches.
Bowler of the year: Jess Watkin.
Batsman of the year: Hannah Rowe.
Players' player of the year: Kate Baxter/Hannah Rowe.
Player of the year: Jess Watkin.
Plunket Shield player of the season: Ajaz Patel.
Ford Trophy player of the season: George Worker.
McDonald's Super Smash player of the season: Tom Bruce.
Special award: Marty Kain (retirement).
Players' player of the season: Tom Bruce.
Player of the year: George Worker.