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Kent all-rounder takes home £10,000 prize for MVP crown.
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White-ball domination. Red-ball promotion. England call-up. Joe Denly may never have another summer like the one he has had in 2018.
The 32-year-old has claimed the PCA’s Overall Most Valuable Player with an astonishing 579 points, as well as being crowned the MVP for both white-ball competitions as he piled on runs, took crucial wickets and often led his Kent side with great diligence in his role as vice-captain.
His sparkling form has earnt him a recall to the England set-up for the first time since 2010 and a debut selection for the Test squad, with calls for him to bat at three in the Test side growing game-by-game. He will have a chance to prove himself at the highest level against Sri Lanka.
The individual accolades do not stop there with Denly being handed a golden ticket from his captain Sam Billings on Wednesday morning to reveal he has been shortlisted by his fellow professionals for the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year.
Denly scored the bulk of his MVP points in the limited overs portion of the summer; 613 One-Day Cup runs and 409 in the Vitality Blast took some serious hitting. However, it was his contribution with the ball that propelled him up the MVP table.
He finished with 24 wickets in the Royal London One-Day Cup to take the Spitfires to the Lord’s final, but despite four wickets in the showpiece event, he couldn’t quite get his side over the line. He was also their leading wicket-taker in the Blast, with his leg-spin proving a brilliant asset to the team.
It was on July 6th when the circuit really knew Denly would be the man to beat this summer. Hitting an unbeaten T20 hundred on a Friday night in South London, he followed it up with a hat-trick against Surrey – from there, there was no looking back.
However, his sparkling form against the white-ball also transitioned to the longer form of the game. Nearly 1,000 runs as Kent secured promotion from Division Two is a fantastic effort, with four hundreds for good measure.
His form and early season captaincy have led Kent to their first promotion since 2010, as the club return to the top table after missing out in 2016. His leadership has been inspired all season with Denly clearly operating by the mantra of lead by example.
When it comes down to the overall breakdown of his MVP points, he’s averaging 15.06 a game, which over the course of the season is staggering. Out of the 38 game he has played in, he has won 25 and picked up seven captaincy points for his efforts.
The top-order batsman finished on 579 MVP points, 78 ahead of his nearest challenger Rikki Clarke but in truth, Denly was a runaway winner with fellow all-rounders Ed Barnard and Lewis Gregory pushing for second spot.
His batting points naturally outweigh his bowling efforts, with 340.53 batting MVP points only Ian Bell and James Hildreth have been more prolific when it comes to accumulating. What made him the runaway leader was the extra points earned with the ball, 184.10. Although technically not an all-rounder at the beginning of the summer, his leg-spin has proved its worth.
Ultimately, Denly will be worth an extra £10,000 after a stellar season for his county. He has dominated the rankings, and after a clean sweep with the white-ball will pick up the overall award as well. Never has a player been more deserving.
View the MVP Rankings here.