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Skipper Knight leads Overall MVP as England aim for second 20-over world title.
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Heather Knight leads the PCA’s England Women Overall Most Valuable Player Rankings on the eve of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, which England will be looking to win for the first time in more than a decade when their campaign gets underway against South Africa in Perth on Sunday.
The tournament will see the world’s 10 best T20 sides battle for the trophy over the course of 17 days, with the final being held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday 8 March.
Knight’s side go into the tournament looking to go one better than the 2018 edition, where they were beaten by Australia in the final in Antigua.
They are one of the more fancied teams, although Meg Lanning’s side are the heavy favourites on home soil. England will take some confidence, however, from their Super Over victory against Australia in the recent tri-series which also involved India.
England were unfortunate not to reach the final in a series where they won two and drew two, with Knight putting in two MVP of the Match performances to propel herself to the top of the Overall MVP table.
Knight is currently averaging 8.19 MVP points-per-game after a winter schedule that has so far involved three ODIs and three T20Is against Pakistan in Malaysia on top of the aforementioned tri-series in Australia.
The captain goes into the tournament in fine form, having also made 38 and an unbeaten 45 in recent wins over a Cricket Australia XI and New Zealand respectively, although England were later chastened by a shock 10-wicket defeat to Sri Lanka. These fixtures were not officially recognised, however, and therefore do not count towards the final MVP standings.
The MVP algorithm was developed by the PCA in conjunction with the players to recognise the key influencers and match-winning performers in any given fixture.
On top of traditional batting and bowling averages, bonus points are awarded for key disciplines such as scoring quickly, claiming top-order wickets and taking catches, giving a more accurate reflection of the game’s best players.
England Women MVPs are awarded at the conclusion of both the side’s summer and winter schedule, meaning that the cross-format Overall MVP and T20I MVP for 2019/20 will be named at the conclusion of England’s campaign in Australia.
Sarah Glenn already won the 2019/20 ODI MVP following England’s 50-over winter schedule in Malaysia, whilst off-spinner Sophie Ecclestone is the most recent claimant of the Overall MVP for her performances against West Indies and Australia last summer.
At present, Knight has accumulated 82 MVP points for the winter, but all-rounder Nat Sciver and young leg-spinner Glenn are breathing down her neck with 79 and 78 points respectively.
The MVP formula recognises the importance of a genuine all-rounder, and Sciver has benefited in that respect with her points split almost evenly with 40 for batting and 29 for bowling.
Glenn, meanwhile, has comfortably been England’s most effective bowler in a winter that saw her make her international debut against Pakistan on 9 December. She has 69 points in that discipline, well clear of 2019 Overall MVP Ecclestone who has 52 bowling MVP points to her name.
Wicketkeeper-batter Amy Jones sits fourth with 72 MVP points, but is also the leader of the format-specific T20I MVP, where she has accumulated 34 batting points on top of an incredible 27 for her work behind the stumps.
Only Knight, who shone in the tri-series with the bat, has accumulated more T20I points (40) in that discipline this winter – she’s second in the T20I MVP with 55 points in total, whilst Sciver has again shown her class to move into third position with 0.1 points fewer than her captain. Ecclestone (53 MVP points) and bowling all-rounder Katherine Brunt (44) complete the current top five going into Sunday’s fixture.
View the England Women MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.