England all-rounder Ben Stokes heads the shortlist for the Players’ Player of the Year award ahead of the 50th NatWest PCA Awards.
Stokes could become just the sixth player to win both the PCA Young Player and Players’ Player after his 2013 success at the Roundhouse.
The Durham man has been shortlisted alongside Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer, Gloucestershire all-rounder Ryan Higgins and Warwickshire opener Dominic Sibley for the headline award.
The winner will follow in the footsteps of 2018 recipient Joe Denly in collecting the Reg Hayter Cup at London’s Roundhouse on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Sibley is in contention to be the second man to collect both the Players’ Player and PCA Young Player of the Year in the same season, after Ben Duckett achieved the feat in 2016. He joins Somerset’s Tom Banton, Gloucestershire’s James Bracey and Kent’s Zak Crawley in being nominated for the John Arlott Cup.
Three members of the England Women squad have been nominated for the NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer. Slow left-arm bowler Sophie Ecclestone could make it two wins in two years, but she’ll face stiff competition from all-rounder Katherine Brunt and batter Amy Jones.
The NatWest PCA Awards consists of 12 categories, with the three main accolades voted for by current professional players.
This year sees the Association celebrate its 50th annual awards and will celebrate a remarkable year which saw the England men’s team win their maiden ICC Cricket World Cup trophy. All proceeds from the night will be donated to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.
NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year nominees
The top County Championship Division One wicket taker with over 80 scalps, Harmer is also leading the Overall MVP going into the final day of the season.
Essex’s T20 captain has been the man for all occasions, taking the best ever combined Vitality Blast Finals Day figures of 7-35. He then smashed 18 off seven balls in the final to hand the Eagles their maiden Blast title.
All-rounder Higgins has scored 958 runs at an average of just under 60 and taken 50 wickets for under 24 runs apiece to take Gloucestershire to the verge of promotion in the Championship.
The 24-year-old’s top score this season was 199 against Leicestershire in June and has contributed well in white-ball cricket, with a further 386 runs and 16 wickets, meaning and he has bowled more overs for his county than any other player.
Sibley has been the standout batsman in the County Championship, something national selector Ed Smith has taken note of with his recent call-up to the England tour of New Zealand.
With over 1,300 runs to his name opening the batting in red-ball cricket, he comfortably ended the summer as the top run-scorer in Division One.
The 2013 PCA Young Player of the Year had an ICC World Cup to remember. Starting with runs, wickets and an astonishing catch to open the tournament and ending with an unbeaten 84 to hold England’s innings together when they were chasing 242 to win their first ever World Cup.
Stokes’ unforgettable 135 not out at Headingley just over a month later made up part of his 441 runs in the series – the highest aggregate total of any England player in the 2019 Ashes.
PCA Young Player of the Year nominees
The 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has excelled in the limited-overs formats, averaging 41.27 in his side’s successful Royal London One-Day Cup campaign and finishing fourth in the PCA’s Vitality Blast MVP Rankings.
Banton’s short format prowess earned him a first call-up to England’s T20I squad for the tour of New Zealand later this month.
Bracey, 22, enjoyed a memorable debut Royal London One-Day Cup campaign this year, averaging 55.5 and making a maiden List A hundred with 113 not out against Essex in his side’s final group fixture.
His excellent form across all formats this season was rewarded with a debut for England Lions against Australia A in July.
Crawley has been amongst the top run-scorers in Division One of the County Championship this season, which resulted in a first call-up to England’s Test squad this week, but has also shown his adaptability across all formats.
The 21-year-old averaged 56.29 in the Royal London One-Day Cup, and scored 701 runs in white-ball cricket.
Sibley finished the season with the Bears’ best individual score of 244 (vs Kent in on July 3), and was also the first man in Division One to reach 1,000 Championship runs for the season.
His five hundreds for Warwickshire earned him a call-up to England’s Test squad for the tour of New Zealand.
馃憦 The shortlist for the PCA Young Player of the Year has been announced!馃 Four of England鈥檚 brightest prospects!馃弳 Congratulations to Tom, James, Zak & Dom!#PCAawards50 馃憠 https://t.co/zddrGiZvHe pic.twitter.com/WyryLwJZNP
— PCA (@PCA) September 26, 2019
NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer
Ecclestone could become the first player to win the award on multiple occasions, after being named the 2018 NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer last year.
The left-arm spinner topped the PCA’s England Women Overall MVP Rankings with 89 MVP points. She was England’s top wicket-taker in both the West Indies series with six and the Women’s Ashes with an impressive 13 victims.
Only Ecclestone took more Women’s Ashes wickets than Brunt’s eight, and the all-rounder backed that up by averaging a more-than-handy 26.5 with the bat in the same series.
She finished third in the PCA’s Overall England Women MVP Rankings, averaging the most points-per-game of any player to have appeared in multiple fixtures.