Former Portsmouth School pupil wins award for fastest century of English county cricket season

A FORMER Portsmouth schoolboy will tonight receive the Walter Lawrence Trophy for blasting the fastest century in the 2019 English county cricket season.

Cameron Delport in action for Essex during the 2019 T20 Blast tournament
Cameron Delport in action for Essex during the 2019 T20 Blast tournament

South African-born Cameron Delport was on a student exchange trip to Portsmouth Grammar School in 2007 when he was part of the Hampshire U17 team that won their age group’s county championship.

Current Hampshire skipper James Vince was also in the team which defeated a Durham XI including Ben Stokes in the final.

Fast forward to last summer and Delport reached three figures off only 38 balls with six fours and 11 sixes while playing for Essex against Sussex in a T20 Blast tie.

That ended up being the fastest century of the county season, and has elevated Delport into an illustrious list of former winners including Ian Botham, Viv Richards, Hampshire legend Gordon Greenidge, Graeme Hick and Andrew Flintoff.

The Walter Lawrence Trophy was first awarded in 1934, and until 1984 was awarded to the batsman with the fastest century in minutes as opposed to balls faced.

In 1978, Greenidge became the first Hampshire man to win the award with an 82-minute hundred against Glamorgan. Showing how the one-day game has evolved, Delport’s entire 49-ball innings of 129 against Sussex occupied just 66 minutes.

Shahid Afridi is the only other Hampshire player to have won the Trophy, in 2017.

Delport, who bats left-handed but bowls right-arm medium, is one of a growing band of T20 global gunslingers.

Since the summer of 2018, he has appeared in the Caribbean Premier League, Afghanistan Premier League, the inaugural Mzansi Super League in South Africa, the Bangladesh Premier League, the Pakistan Super League - his 49-ball ton for Islamabad against Lahore last March was the fastest in the tournament’s history - and the English T20 Blast. 

Delport is also involved in the inaugural Hundred competition next summer, having been signed by Birmingham Phoenix – one of the eight city franchises involved - for £50,000. His team-mates will include Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara and New Zealander Kane Williamson.