PCA PRESS RELEASE
Burns and Denly England Test receive call-ups as MVP reaches final stretch.
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The PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings has once again proved its worth with two of the standout performers across county cricket receiving England Test Match call-ups for the tour of Sri Lanka.
Kent’s Joe Denly and Surrey captain Rory Burns received the news today with Denly currently leading the Overall MVP by 86 points while Burns has 242 batting points in the County Championship, 64 more than anyone else.
With an opener coming in to replace England’s greatest ever run scorer Alastair Cook, Burns would appear to be in pole position given his outstanding year where he has captained his county to the title and is bound to end as the country’s top run scorer.
However, Denly is the leader of the Overall MVP and looks set to win the £10,000 windfall with nothing short of a miracle needed for him to lose his top spot in the MVP.
There is only one more fixture in the summer remaining with the Kent all-rounder currently 85 points ahead of Rikki Clarke in second. Although the Championship has been Denly’s ‘weakest’ format in 2018 he is still in the top 50, made the more impressive by being in Division Two where he has helped his team to promotion.
With the Overall MVP almost in the bag to add to Denly’s MVP crowns in the Royal London One-Day Cup and Vitality Blast the race for the County Championship is extremely tight. The top five are all within 20 points of each other going into the last games of the summer. Lancashire’s Tom Bailey leads the way with 305 points but Simon Harmer, Matt Henry, Kyle Abbott and Rikki Clarke are all within touching distance.
Bailey has claimed 56 Division One wickets this season at 20.67 a-piece, with only teammate Graham Onions taking one more wicket than him to lead the way.
Bailey started the season with a bang by winning the PCA Player of the Month for April and has continued his consistent form throughout the summer. However, he has four other bowlers hot on his tail for the County Championship crown. Off-spinner Simon Harmer has the same number of wickets as Bailey but at a slightly more expensive rate. However, his performance against Worcestershire took him to second in the County Championship MVP table.
Henry was instrumental in Kent’s promotion to Division One and with 74 wickets at 14.67 deserves to in the running for the MVP of the red-ball summer. The Kiwi missed the middle of the season, but on his return to the circuit has picked up where he left off.
Kent’s last game against fellow title challengers Warwickshire could prove to be a blessing for the paceman – and for Denly. With both teams already promoted to Division One, the final game between the pair will not be a dead rubber in the slightest, with all parties going to be up for one last push for the Division Two crown. An inspired performance from Henry could see him re-claim the top spot he held for so long.
Clarke is the only man in the top five of the Overall Rankings who also holds a place in the top five of the County Championship equivalent. He has been Mr. Consistent in a Surrey squad that claimed their first Division One title since 2002.
Clarke has 45 victims to his name and has gone past 450 runs at just under 33, although he is unlikely to catch Denly in the overall standings, one last performance to close out the season could see him place in the top three of the red-ball table.
View the MVP Rankings here.