Trego takes top honour
Somerset's Peter Trego was finally celebrating a long-awaited top billing on Tuesday, after a run of near misses.
Trego has been awarded county cricket's FTI Most Valued Player award after topping the ranking system across all three formats.
The 31-year-old pipped fellow all-rounder Darren Stevens to the trophy after a campaign that yielded a total of 897 runs and 67 wickets in all competitions.
And Trego admits it makes a pleasant change to be declared a winner having become used to the role of perennial bridesmaid.
Somerset finished as runners-up in all three domestic tournaments last season and were second to Warwickshire in this summer's LV= County Championship.
Trego also fell just short of glory on his travels, beaten in the Hong Kong Sixes final with England and also narrowly missing out as an overseas player in Zimbabwe with Mashonaland Eagles.
"When I was top of the rankings going into the last couple of weeks I think there was a heavy stack of cash on me to finish second because that just seems to be the way of it for me," he told Press Association Sport.
"Last year Somerset missed out in all three competitions but I don't think many people know I also finished second in Hong Kong and with Mashonaland. I actually managed five second-placed finishes in one season.
"I think it goes without saying that I'd swap this award for some of those trophies because I don't think anything can replicate the feeling of winning something with your team, but it's certainly a nice feeling for me personally to be the number one.
"With the quality of cricketer we have out there it is really rewarding for me after a long, tough season."
Trego appears unlikely to gain England recognition despite being a consistent performer on the domestic circuit, but has found other ways to expand his experiences in the game.
As well as his spell in Zimbabwe, Trego captained the Sylhet Royals franchise in last year's Bangladesh Premier League and will spend the winter with Central Districts in New Zealand.
He believes England's improved standing in the world game in recent times has made such a path easier and put county players on an even keel with professionals from other top nations.
"It always used to frustrate me that Australians and South Africans could come over to England and play in their off-seasons and we couldn't," he said.
"But with England cricket the way it is now I think we are getting more respect, even as non-internationals.
"English players have good market value now and when I've had my opportunities I've really nailed them because you only get repeat contracts when you perform.
"Not so long ago the only way you could experience top cricket overseas was with England and while it will always be a disappointment to me that I haven't been picked, these opportunities have allowed me to be an international cricketer of sorts.
"I've played in big competitions with the likes of Chris Gayle, Herschelle Gibbs, Dirk Nannes - all the Twenty20 stars - and at times I've succeeded, even dominated.
"When people look back and say to me 'do you think you were good enough for the highest level?' I can look at that and honestly say 'yes I was'."