PCA PRESS RELEASE
Root wins Men’s Player of the Year with Capsey youngest ever awards winner.
Joe Root, Eve Jones, Harry Brook and Alice Capsey are the winners of the four main prizes at the 2021 cinch PCA Awards.
England captain Root has rounded off his outstanding summer, which included hundreds in three successive Test Matches against India, by winning the cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year.
Central Sparks skipper Jones has made history to become the first female domestic professional to win one of the main cinch PCA Awards as she picked up the cinch PCA Women’s Player of the Year.
Root’s Yorkshire teammate Brook has seen his brilliant form – particularly in the Vitality Blast and The Hundred – recognised as he has been named the cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Capsey has entered the record books as the first winner of the cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year award, capping a meteoric rise in 2021 despite not yet being a full-time professional cricketer or PCA member. The all-rounder has made further history, becoming the youngest ever winner of one of the PCA’s player-voted awards.
The coveted prizes are voted for by the players’ fellow professionals, and this year the main winners at the 52nd edition of the cinch PCA Awards were announced live on Sky Sports during day one of the Bob Willis Trophy final.
Root has led by example throughout a Test summer which saw him score 661 runs at an average of 66.1, a return which enabled him to claim a first cinch PCA Award as the LV= Insurance Test Player of the Summer. His summer form came off the back of an exceptional winter tour of the subcontinent which saw Root make three scores of 150+ in successive Tests, illustrating the batter’s ability in all conditions.
The 30-year-old adds a second player-voted cinch PCA Award to his collection, having been named Men’s Young Player of the Year in 2012, and he is only the seventh individual to win both of the men’s prizes. He is also the third Yorkshire player to win the main men’s award at the cinch PCA Awards, following in the footsteps of his boyhood idol Michael Vaughan and Adam Lyth.
This year, he has succeeded Chris Woakes in winning the award by beating fellow shortlisted candidates in Durham’s David Bedingham, Luke Fletcher of Nottinghamshire and Essex’s Simon Harmer to the prize.
cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year, Root, said: “I’m very proud to receive the cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year award. It means a huge amount to be recognised by your fellow professionals. You spend a lot of time playing alongside them and for them to vote for me is really quite humbling. A lot of my heroes when I was growing up are on that trophy so I’m chuffed to be alongside them.
“I’ve been in good touch and had a good understanding of how I wanted to score my runs this year. There have been some really close games and it’s been very enjoyable. I’ve scored runs against the best teams in the world so that has given me confidence, even as an experienced player.
“Ultimately, it’s about winning for England and putting in performances that will win you Test Matches. That’s the best feeling – when you walk off the pitch knowing you’ve put in a performance that has won your side the game. You want to replicate that and it really acts as a driving force.”
After 41 new PCA members were inducted into the Association ahead of the 2021 season, Jones makes history as the first ever domestic female professional cricketer to pick up one of the player-voted cinch PCA Awards, with all the previous winners having been England players.
Jones is a deserved winner of the cinch PCA Women’s Player of the Year, having made over 800 runs across the three competitions she has played in, runs which inspired Central Sparks and Birmingham Phoenix to be within one game of the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and The Hundred finals.
The 29-year-old, who has already claimed the PCA Women’s Overall Domestic MVP and the Charlotte Edwards Cup Player of the Year, beats England’s Sophia Dunkley and Nat Sciver, as well as Western’s Storm’s Danielle Gibson, to the award. Jones succeeds Sarah Glenn who won the 2020 accolade.
cinch PCA Women’s Player of the Year, Jones, said: “I never expected to pick up an award like this, so I’m really delighted that my fellow players have voted for me to win. It means a great deal. Some fantastic players have won this award so it’s nice to follow in their footsteps and get my name on the trophy alongside theirs.
“It’s been a long time coming for a lot of the girls to dedicate more time to playing and training, so I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being a professional throughout the last year. Having cricket as my main career is something that I’ve dreamed of for a long time.
“It’s been great to be a part of the PCA. The support we get is fantastic and it’s really helped us to transition from semi-professional to professional cricket. It’s been great to chat to them and pick their brains about how to be a full-time cricketer.
“I’d love to play for England and put that shirt on one day. But if it doesn’t, I’m having the best time of my life and I’ll still relish the opportunities to play cricket around the world.”
Brook is the seventh Yorkshire player to win the cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year award, and he follows in the footsteps of established names to win the trophy including Root, Ben Stokes and last year’s recipient, Zak Crawley.
A brilliant breakthrough season of consistency has seen Brook cement his place at the heart of Yorkshire’s batting order in all formats, and he excelled in the Vitality Blast in particular, finishing as the competition’s fourth highest run-scorer with 486 at an average of 69.4. He also ended with the second highest average (minimum three innings) in The Hundred with 47.3 and finished in the top 10 run-scorers in the competition, despite only having five innings.
The 22-year-old has beaten fellow shortlisted candidates Sam Cook of Essex and Sussex’s Tom Haines to the award.
cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year, Brook said: “It’s really nice to have received the most votes to win the cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year – I’m really happy with the award. It’s always great playing in front of a packed crowd at Headingley, and The Hundred was awesome as well. I can’t wait to keep doing it for years to come.
“I really look up to the likes of Joe Root. You can learn so much from such a good player, and you try to take parts of their game and put it into yours. Often I’ll pick the best players from around the world and try to put parts of their game into mine.
“The Hundred has given me the opportunity to play alongside the likes of Ben Stokes and Chris Lynn, who were both with Northern Superchargers. When you’re around players like that you can learn so much, and playing against the best players on the biggest stage gets you used to that pressure.
“The best players back it up year after year and hopefully I can do that. There’s still things to work on in my game and there’s a big winter coming up where I can try to become better and better.”
An historic win for Capsey has seen her crowned the first ever cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year, and she has won the award ahead of Southern Vipers’ Charlie Dean and England’s Sophia Dunkley.
Although not yet a full-time professional and therefore not a PCA member, the PCA Women’s Committee voted for non-members to be included in the cinch PCA Awards voting, therefore enabling Capsey’s win.
Capsey’s spectacular season has seen her contribute with both bat and ball for South East Stars and Oval Invincibles – she took 10 wickets with an economy of 4.52 and hit 150 runs as her side were crowned champions in the inaugural edition of The Hundred.
The all-rounder also played a big part in the Stars success in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, scoring 203 runs and taking seven wickets to help her side to the trophy.
cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year, Capsey, said: “It’s a massive honour and not something I really expected. When I got the phone call it hadn’t even been something that I’d processed in my mind. I can’t really put it into words. I’m not even a PCA member yet so to win the award is just incredible.
“It’s a huge honour and it will probably be the one of the best awards that I win in my career. To be the first person to have your name engraved on the trophy will be really special.
“Michael Atherton had an amazing career after winning the first cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year. There are so many big names on the all of the trophies, hopefully I can live up to it and I’ll be happy if I can get close to some of them.
“This year has been the best summer I’ve had, and to experience that with my friends and teammates has been incredible – I’ll remember it for a very long time.”
This year’s main cinch PCA Award winners picked up brand-new trophies created exclusively for the PCA by the Association’s new partner Mappin & Webb. The existing Reg Hayter Cup (awarded to the cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year), John Arlott Cup (cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year) and the plate for the previous main women’s award are to be put on display at the PCA’s office at the Kennington Oval.
PCA Chief Executive, Rob Lynch, said: “A huge congratulations must go to the four main award winners at this year’s cinch PCA Awards – all of you are thoroughly deserving recipients.
“I would also like to put in a word for the winners at the cinch PCA Awards who have been announced throughout the last few weeks. Your performances have been absolutely sensational during what has been a memorable season with the return of capacity crowds.
“Finally, thanks must also go to cinch for making the PCA Awards possible and for the company’s commitment to supporting the professional game across the board. It is valued by everyone within the game and long may our partnership continue.”
cinch Chief Customer Officer, Robert Bridge, said: “It’s been a fantastic summer of cricket and cinch is delighted to support the PCA in ensuring the brilliant sporting talent is recognised and celebrated. Congratulations to all the winners from everyone at cinch.”