Latest prize of the cinch PCA Awards goes to Central Sparks skipper.

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Central Sparks captain Eve Jones has been named the Charlotte Edwards Cup Player of the Year after enjoying a brilliant campaign with the bat throughout the inaugural competition.

Although Jones’ side exited the tournament after the group stage, the left-handed batter did enough during her six appearances to top the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings with a huge 143 MVP points – 16 points clear of second placed Emma Lamb.

The 29-year-old scored 276 runs at an average of 55.2 in the competition, by far the highest tally of any player. Jones was in particularly inspired form during the second half of the group stage after returning from a spell with Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred, making scores of 51, 71 and 76 in Sparks’ final three group fixtures, of which they won two.

It was a run of form which helped Jones to be voted by the public as the August Women’s PCA Player of the Month, her second successive award after also winning the prize in July.

Amazingly, Jones was named MVP of the Match – the award given to the player who scores the most MVP points in any given fixture – four times out of a possible six in this year’s Charlotte Edwards Cup. Only one other player, the aforementioned Lamb (2), won more than one such award during this season’s competition.

Jones edged out a number of other top performers to win the main prize, including the likes of Bryony Smith and Alice Capsey, who helped their side South East Stars all the way to a five-wicket victory over Northern Diamonds in the final at the Ageas Bowl on Sunday.

Jones, though, is a deserved Player of the Year winner having led the Charlotte Edwards Cup MVP from 28 August until the competition’s end.

The Charlotte Edwards Cup Player of the Year has been selected by the PCA MVP Rankings, the Central Sparks skipper topping the table which has been produced by a new statistical algorithm for 2021.

The formula enables players to score or lose MVP points on every ball based on their expected performance for that ball in comparison to CricViz’s extensive historical database of 20-over fixtures, with the venue being played at also taken into account.

Jones will receive a £2,500 cash prize for topping the MVP, with MVP competition prize money equal across men’s and women’s domestic cricket this season, and she is the first ever winner of the Charlotte Edwards Cup Player of the Year.

She joins Royal London Cup Player of the Year Scott Borthwick in having picked up a cinch PCA Award this season.

Charlotte Edwards Cup Player of the Year, Eve Jones, said: “It’s a pretty special feeling to win the Charlotte Edwards Cup Player of the Year. T20 is a format I’ve worked so much on over the last 12-18 months, and I’ve really looked to work on power hitting and raising my strike rate. So to come out and prove that I can do it in all different formats feels like a really good achievement.

“The likes of Emma Lamb, Bryony Smith and Alice Capsey have been brilliant throughout the competition. It’s great that the Charlotte Edwards Cup has given youngsters, and also the slightly older players, a big platform to show the world what they can do.

“It’s also pleasing to see that the men and women are being recognised with the same amount of prize money for topping the MVP Rankings across the competitions – it really shows how much the women’s game has come on over the last year or so and it’s great that the ECB and the PCA are starting to support the women as much as they do the men.”

Jones wins the latest cinch PCA Award of the season and receives her trophy and cash prize, with awards taking place virtually in 2021 in the absence of an in-person event. Competition awards including those for the Charlotte Edwards Cup, the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and the Vitality Blast are being announced following the final ball in each tournament.

Tuesday 28 September will see the finale of the cinch PCA Awards with the four headline awards being announced live on Sky Sports during lunch on the opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy final.

For the first time at the PCA Awards, there will be a Young Women’s Player of the Year. Following the introduction of 41 domestic professional female players and the creation of the women’s elite domestic structure, players will have the opportunity to vote for a breakthrough star of 2021.

With cinch sponsoring the four player-selected awards, the Men’s, Women’s, Young Men’s and Young Women’s Player of the Year awards will all be revealed in a blockbuster presentation of the best performers in English cricket in 2021.

Find out more about the PCA MVP Rankings and view the domestic men’s and women’s tables.

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