Duo are Royal London ODI Players of the Summer as international schedule ends.

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Heather Knight has been named the Royal London Women’s ODI Player of the Summer, whilst Saqib Mahmood is the winner of the Royal London Men’s ODI Player of the Summer at the 2021 cinch PCA Awards.

Knight scored 95.2 PCA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Rankings points during her eight appearances in ODIs this summer, which was rounded off with a thumping 203-run win over New Zealand in Canterbury on Sunday. Kate Cross (87 MVP points) and Katherine Brunt (79) occupy the podium positions in the final standings.

In total, Knight scored 288 ODI runs at an average of 36 throughout the summer, also chipping in with four wickets including 3-24 during the final fixture on Sunday.

The skipper’s individual highlight was a classy 101 made during the fourth ODI against New Zealand in Derby, during an innings when no other batter managed more than 40 runs. Her side went on to successfully chase 245 – an England record – with three wickets in hand and three balls remaining, sealing the ODI series victory and illustrating Knight’s match-winning contribution.

From a captaincy perspective, it has been another successful season for the player who made her 200th international appearance this summer. Knight’s side won five of their eight ODIs in total, meaning the all-rounder earned five bonus points for winning and another five as the winning captain.

The Royal London Women’s ODI Player of the Summer award rounds off a successful 50-over season for Knight, whose side are looking forward to the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup beginning in New Zealand in March.

Royal London Women’s ODI Player of the Summer, Heather Knight, said: “I’m really pleased. I didn’t feel like I was at my best against India earlier in the summer, but I worked hard going into this series and wanted to make a really big contribution across the five ODIs, particularly with a World Cup coming up next year, so I was delighted to be able to do well.

“I’ve enjoyed this series, felt in good nick and wanted to be the one to make big match-winning contributions, which I feel like I’ve been able to do in a few of the games and that’s been really nice.

“It’s been a great team effort, and we’ve had so many people performing in ODI cricket for us which is a really pleasing feeling going into next year. I know Kate Cross was really close to getting this award and she’s had a fantastic summer! All in all, we’re in a good place going into a very busy year for us in 2022.”

In addition to Knight winning the Royal London Women’s ODI Player of the Summer award, vice-captain Nat Sciver was confirmed as the PCA Women’s International Overall MVP on Sunday afternoon.

Sciver, who already picked up the Vitality Women’s IT20 Player of the Summer at the cinch PCA Awards, scored 173 MVP points across Test, ODI and IT20 cricket this season to be named statistically England’s Most Valuable Player in all formats. Sophie Ecclestone (160 MVP points) and Knight (155) finish in second and third position.

It is a second Overall MVP in a row for Sciver, who scored 64.3 MVP points in six appearances throughout the winter to outline her enduring quality as one of the world’s very best all-rounders.

Mahmood bowls his way to ODI award

Saqib Mahmood is the Royal London Men’s ODI Player of the Summer on the back of his scintillating form with the ball during England’s three-match ODI series against Pakistan in mid-July.

No England player scored more 50-over MVP points than Mahmood this summer, the rapid right-armer finishing with 40.1 in total from his three appearances at an average of 13.4 points-per-game.

Mahmood terrorised the Pakistan top-order throughout the three fixtures, finishing with a series-high nine wickets taken at an average of 13.7 runs each. All but two of those scalps were top seven batters, with five of Mahmood’s victims batting in the top four.

The 24-year-old’s performance in the first ODI on 8 July stood out as he claimed 4-42 to help skittle Pakistan for 141 and set up a thumping nine-wicket victory for his side.

It all adds up to a particularly impressive return for Mahmood, given he was among a number of late call-ups for the Pakistan series following a Covid-19 outbreak in the original squad.

The Lancashire man continues to make strides in the 50-over arena, two years after he was named the Royal London One-Day Cup Player of the Year at the 50th cinch PCA Awards in 2019.

Royal London Men’s ODI Player of the Summer, Saqib Mahmood, said: “I want to thank Royal London for giving me the Men’s ODI Player of the Summer award. I won the Royal London One-Day Cup Player of the Year in 2019 so to do it for England now feels even better.

“It’s been a great summer for me personally as I’ve played for England again, so hopefully there’s much more of that to come in the future!”

Both the men’s and women’s Royal London ODI Players of the Summer were identified by the PCA MVP Rankings, Knight and Mahmood finishing top of their respective tables which were 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 50-over fixtures, with the venue being played at also taken into account.

Knight joins Nat Sciver (Vitality Women’s IT20 Player of the Summer) in having picked up a women’s international cinch PCA Award this season, whilst Mahmood joins Vitality Men’s IT20 Player of the Summer Liam Livingstone and LV= Insurance Test Player of the Summer Joe Root in the men’s international categories.

With domestic competition and international awards having been announced throughout the final weeks of the season, the cinch PCA Awards will culminate on Tuesday with the winners of the four player-voted awards being announced live on Sky Sports during lunch on the opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy final.

Tune in on Tuesday to find out who will pick up the cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year award with Durham’s David Bedingham, Luke Fletcher of Nottinghamshire, Essex’s Simon Harmer and England Test skipper Root shortlisted.

Sophia Dunkley and Sciver of England, along with Western Storm’s Danielle Gibson and Central Sparks skipper Eve Jones are shortlisted for the cinch PCA Women’s Player of the Year award.

Meanwhile, the cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year will be announced alongside the first ever cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year. Click here to find out more information on the shortlisted candidates.

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

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