Gibson Sweeps Competition Aside To Become Inaugural Most Valuable Player - 26/09/2007
The Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA), the representative body for past and present first class cricketers, has today announced that Durham's Ottis Gibson is the season's Most Valuable Player. The accolade - bestowed for the first time ever this year - comes on top of the 38 year old Barbadian being named last night as the NatWest PCA Player of the Year.
The PCA Player Rankings are based on a formula developed with input from past and present players. By comparing player performances in all four domestic competitions, they are significantly more meaningful than anything that has gone before. The rankings are a cumulative points system that rewards every run scored, wicket taken and catch held. Unlike any other statistical tool, it also gives credit for captaincy and to winning teams.
During an incredibly competitive and exciting season, Gibson, who helped Durham to secure two major domestic trophies, leapt well clear of his nearest rivals through some consistently brilliant bowling performances - for which he was also rewarded with the Friends Provident, LVCC & bowling MVP titles - and several match-winning performances. This included 116 wickets across all competitions of which 80 were in the LV County Championship and 723 runs, 578 of which were in the Championship.
Gibson ended the season some 135 points clear of his nearest rival, Mushtaq Ahmed and 178 ahead of third placed Danish Kaneria. Mushtaq took 106 wickets overall, including 90 in the LV County Championship, and Kaneria took 107 wickets, 74 of which were in the Championship.
Commenting on the MVP title, Gibson said: "Certainly for me, the last couple of years spent coaching has made a difference to my approach to the way I play now. Sometimes you may search a lifetime for what you might consider is perfection. If I look back, this year has certainly been that way. It has probably been a perfect season for me."
The battle of the batsmen was emphatically won by a former England player. With an 88 point lead it was secured by Surrey's Mark Ramprakash. His 2,747 overall runs, including 2026 in the LV County Championship pushed Kent's Rob Key, with 2199 overall, into second place.
With five catches in the final innings of the season, Surrey's Jon Batty pipped Durham's wicket keeper Phil Mustard to take the overall fielding title. His points came from 77 catches and 11 stumpings.
The NatWest Pro40 MVP title was decided last week with Nottinghamshire all rounder Graeme Swann edging it from Worcestershire paceman Kabir Ali in the final round of matches. Swann took 10 wickets and contributed 165 runs to a second place finish for Nottinghamshire, but two ‘no result' matches may have cost them the title.
The Twenty20 Cup rankings were headed by Luke Wright of Sussex whose consistency was rewarded with a place in England's one-day and Twenty20 squads.
Gibson concluded: "Everybody keeps an eye on the rankings. You are constantly getting updates on who has done what and it means you can see who the consistent performers are week in and week. To be top of the rankings means I've been consistent in my own performances. It means a lot to me."