PCA PRESS RELEASE
Leg-spinner takes the prize of the England MVP for the winter.
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Adil Rashid admitted he is thriving in his role as a match winner for England after he ended the winter campaign as the PCA Most Valuable Player across all formats.
The leg-spinner came top of the pile with 198 MVP points after edging out fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes in being statistically his country’s standout performer in the tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
With 35 wickets across all formats, he was the only player to feature in every white-ball game for England this winter as he continued to dominate the middle overs while often cleaning up the lower order with his variations, which continue to bamboozle batsmen in all conditions.
Rashid finished behind his captain Eoin Morgan in the ODI MVP table and in third in the T20I standings with Jonny Bairstow and Chris Jordan narrowly finishing ahead of the Yorkshireman. However, his consistency across the winter has been rewarded with the individual accolade across all forms of the game.
“It is a nice feeling to win the MVP but I don’t look at individual awards if I am honest,” said a modest Rashid. “Every time I play for England my aim and my job is to perform, play well for the team and put in match winning performances.
“It has been a positive few months. Personally there has been some good performances, some not so good performances and I’m always looking to learn, develop and improve so that’s what I’m looking to do at the moment but overall I’m pleased.
“It was a positive way to end the tour with the T20I wins as it has been a tough, long winter. It was a great effort by all the lads.
“To bowl them out so cheaply two games in a row was nice, that happens in cricket sometimes, luckily for us it was our day two games in a row. The bowlers as a group bowled exceptionally well, we executed our skills, and everything just clicked.
“When you are on top you always want to bowl the opposition out for a low score, that’s always the aim but it doesn’t always work like that. It’s not very often you see what we did in the last two games. We always go out there with that belief and sometimes it comes off and sometimes it doesn’t.”
The 31-year-old returned home during the Test Matches in the Caribbean to attend the birth of his second child in a memorable winter on and off the field, which started with 3-1 ODI series win over Sri Lanka, followed by a T20I victory and a memorable Test series whitewash.
However, one of Rashid’s standout performances of the winter came in Grenada where England defended 418, but not without an incredible run chase by the hosts who pushed the tourists all the way. With Mark Wood claiming MVP for taking four wickets for an economical 60 runs, it was left to England’s leg-spinner as he took four wickets in five balls in the 48th over to win by just 29 runs, a test Rashid was grateful for ahead of the ICC World Cup on home soil this summer.
“Fortunately for me it was my time and my day towards the end. The game didn’t start like that because I took a bit of tap at the start, as did all the bowlers, as it was a high scoring game. Morgs (Eoin Morgan) threw me the ball and we had a game plan and tried to stick by it, fortunately it went my way.
“It was a good challenge. It was something different that we haven’t really experienced over the past four years. It was tough for us bowlers on small grounds with good pitches and big hitters so it was a challenge and one we enjoyed.
“Every game has different challenges and there are periods where things aren’t going well and it’s about sticking to your guns and remembering when things aren’t going well then you can look back to these moments on how we turned it around and when things are going well to still remember how to keep doing it well.
“There will be ups and downs but we have to keep going and stick together as a team.”
"I am very excited, the whole group is excited and we are all looking forward to getting out there and putting on a show for the home crowd."
With the opening game of the World Cup just over 11 weeks away, excitement is building throughout the country and with the hosts ranked number one in the ICC rankings and favourites to win their first ever 50-over World Cup, Rashid is not getting carried away as he looks to embrace the challenge ahead.
“I am very excited, the whole group is excited and we are all looking forward to getting out there and putting on a show for the home crowd and hopefully we can stick to our plans and have a good World Cup.
“We are in a good place but we are not taking anything for granted. The past three to four years we have been together and we know each other well but we don’t look too far ahead and we take it a game at a time. We just want to embrace it and enjoy each other’s company and hopefully we can have a successful summer.”
View the MVP Rankings here.