Benefit award 'beyond my wildest dreams' says Brophy

YORKSHIRE have awarded Gerard Brophy a benefit season in 2011.

The wicketkeeper has been honoured for his service to the club since arriving at Headingley in 2006.

Brophy, 34, has fought hard to claim the gloves after facing stiff competition from the likes of Simon Guy and Jonathan Bairstow.

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He has produced some telling displays with bat and gloves in County Championship and one-day cricket. "It is a great honour to be awarded a benefit season," said Brophy, who signed for the county from Northamptonshire.

"The players, coaches, staff and supporters have all made me so welcome since I joined the club.

"To play for Yorkshire with its history and stature, to receive my county cap and now to get a benefit is beyond my wildest dreams. I am really looking forward to my benefit year and the events that will take place and would like to thank everyone for their continued support."

Brophy, born in Welkom, South Africa, made his first-class debut in 1996. He captained Orange Free State in 1998-99 and is a former South Africa Under-17 captain.

Brophy represented Ireland in 2000 on account of his Northern Irish parents and the same link is the reason he holds a British passport and has never been registered as a Kolpak player.

Stewart Regan, Yorkshire's chief executive, commented: "I am sure that Gerard's benefit season will be really well supported.

"He has given a lot to the Yorkshire cause, is a tremendous player and extremely popular with members, supporters and his fellow professionals, and I would like to wish him every success."

In five seasons at Headingley, Brophy has scored 2,509 first-class runs at 29.51 and taken 167 dismissals.

He has produced some fine performances in one-day cricket – notably a 14-ball half-century against Derbyshire in the 2006 Twenty20 Cup – as both a pinch-hitter and middle-order player.

Yorkshire will be looking for more Brophy fireworks when they aim to take another step tomorrow towards the Clydesdale Bank 40 League semi-finals.

Yorkshire take on Middlesex

at Scarborough (1.45pm start) after winning eight of their opening nine matches to top Group B.

Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire's director of professional cricket, believes the team have played some excellent stuff in the tournament to date.

But he insists they still have work to do to reach the last four.

"We've done magnificently well to get ourselves to the top of the table, but we're not home and dry yet by any means," he said.

"There's still three group games to go and we've got to go out there and finish the job.

"We produced a brilliant performance against Gloucestershire in our last match and that's the form we need to continue.

"But we probably need at least one more win to reach the last-four, so we can't afford to take our eye off the ball."

Details of Brophy's benefit season can be found at www.gerardbrophy.com