Derbyshire batter looks to Labuschange for international inspiration after April award.

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Derbyshire opening batter Shan Masood, who scored back-to-back double-centuries in April, has been voted the PCA’s Player of the Month.

The left-hander, who has represented Pakistan 30 times, finished top of the month’s PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings, registering 129.34 points. 

The public were equally impressed with Masood’s 713 runs, as he achieved 46% of the vote to secure the award. Designed by PCA partner Mappin & Webb, the elegant trophy was presented to him by the PCA’s Vice Chair and Derbyshire teammate, Anuj Dal. Masood pipped Kent’s Ben Compton, Hampshire all-rounder Keith Barker and Yorkshire’s Harry Brook who received 30%, 14% and 10% of the vote respectively with the four player shortlist selected from the MVP Rankings.

It is Masood’s first time playing in the LV= Insurance County Championship and he believes the resources in county cricket provide everything he needs to improve. Masood is taking inspiration from Marnus Labuschagne’s first spell at Glamorgan and seeing how that benefited him on the international stage. Which is something Masood hopes to replicate with Pakistan.  

“Looking at his career path. Marnus came to Glamorgan, scored about 1,200 runs and then never looked back after getting into that Australian side,” said Masood. 

“He is a prime example, and these are the things you look for. I saw significant improvements in his batting after his spell here, and there is no surprise that he is world number one right now. I talked to him a lot when he was in Pakistan, and I spoke to him a lot during the match we played against each other recently. 

“The county set-up provides everything I need to take my game forward, so it is up to me to make use of the incredible resources.”

In addition to his back-to-back double hundreds, Masood has scored three half-centuries, giving him an average of 119.

When Masood spoke to the Association, he was also keen to bring up his close relationship with his late sister, who sadly passed away in 2021. He attributed some of his early-season success to the family tragedy, as he believes his personal experience has stopped him from over analysing and brought increased perspective to his life. 

“Events in the last two years have allowed me to be present. 

“I lost my sister not so long ago, who was so close to us, and this has allowed me to reflect on life and the game. I feel cricket is a thing that should be enjoyed. I have stopped over analysing and stopped putting lots of pressure on myself. I am not worried about the results because I know if I am putting in the yards and I have good intentions they take care of themselves.”

Masood wins April's Player of the Month

Derbyshire batter Shan Masood gives to reaction to winning the fan vote and looks to Marnus Labuschange for inspiration...

The left-hander scored a career-best 239 against Sussex at the County Ground, before backing that up with another 219 against Leicestershire, which earnt him 39.10 points to win the Match MVP. 

Masood told the Association that he is grateful for the award and he praised the environment in the Derbyshire dressing room for helping him to achieve this. Masood hasn’t set any specific targets for this summer, and he prefers to put the hard work in training after he described the county summer as ‘relentless’.  

“County cricket excites me, the fixtures are relentless, but it gives you games of cricket week in and week out and the chance to improve your trade. I knew I would play 14 Championship games – and I get to work with Ian Bell, which is a huge privilege. You play against quality opposition and have the chance to play all three formats. 

“These awards are always a by-product of the work you put in and I am extremely grateful to be the PCA’s Player of the Month. 

“Being provided with a very good environment and platform by Derbyshire and Mickey Arthur has allowed me to enjoy my cricket and not think too far ahead. The dressing room is an important place, and you can tell it is a Mickey Arthur dressing room. His standards are so high, but you get a lot of backing from the coach so when you go out on the field you can focus on giving good performances. 

“It helps that there are some familiar faces. I know Billy Godleman after playing under 19s cricket with him, and Wayne Madsen was with me at Multan in the Pakistan Super League.

“We have a very good team and they are just starting to believe that they can put in good performances week in and week out.”

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