New Zealand Cricket's stunning summer will be recognised tonight with its annual awards and amongst them is the Men's Domestic Cricketer of the Year which has been won by a player who's fast become someone who's hard to leave out.
1 NEWS can reveal ahead of the awards tonight that Canterbury batting all-rounder Daryl Mitchell has picked up the award after a provincial season to remember.
Mitchell told 1 NEWS he knew a move south to Christchurch was the best thing for his family but it has also been the best thing for his cricket too.
Mitchell was a standout in this summer’s domestic competitions, even picking up his first five-wicket haul in first-class cricket with an impressive 5/44 effort against Otago in the Plunket Shield.
The 29-year-old’s performance made him a must-have for the Black Caps across all formats and will also be recognised tonight at the New Zealand Cricket Awards.
A humble Mitchell told 1 NEWS he’s taken the news in his stride.
“I guess when you've got two little girls, whether you score a duck or a hundred, they're still going to be the same when you get home so it's the same with awards,” he said.
“It's obviously a massive honour to receive these but you're just trying to win games of cricket for whoever you're playing for.”
He's helped do that plenty this season.
Mitchell shifted from Northern Districts to Canterbury this season so he and wife Amy could be closer to her family with their young daughters Addison and Libby.
But it's even something as simple as being based just at Hagley Oval and in Rangiora that makes life easier for the Mitchells as opposed to the reach of Northern Districts which spans from Northland to Hamilton and Mount Maunganui.
“The lockdown actually helped realise how much we needed the time together,” Mitchell’s wife Amy said.
“With him being away so much it's been nice for him to be home and have one home ground and spend some more time together.”
Mitchell said the change has helped him on and off the pitch.
“To be able to show up to work each day and then sort of be able to come home and be a dad each night has helped me personally.”
So much so, he's in with a chance of playing all three Tests on the tour of England this year - including the World Test Championship final.
“From a personal point of view, it'd be really cool to be a part of that but at the same time it's just nice to know you're in the mix.”
He's certainly in the mix and has a tight-knit family to thank for his rise to the top.