CALLING all North-East cricketers! The Northern Echo today begins its search for the region's finest with the launch of the Cricketer of the Year Award.

Opening up in association with sports equipment specialists Mike Gough Sports of Hartlepool, the competition is open to amateur cricketers of all ages in the North-East throughout the summer months.

So if you, a relation or teammate has achieved a spectacular feat while playing for your team, we want to hear from you.

Each nominated player must have made their mark while playing in a recognised North-East league or cup competition.

There's an award made each month, with each monthly winner batting - or bowling - for the overall honour which will be made when the season ends.

The three judges - sports editor Nick Loughlin, Local Heroes editor Craig Stoddart and The Northern Echo's deputy editor Colin Tapping - will consider all nominations every month and the winner will be announced in the Local Heroes supplement.

As well as a monthly trophy, the summer's finest cricketer will not only receive a special trophy but a cricket bat signed by the Durham CC squad.

The nomination form will appear each week throughout the season.