PCA PRESS RELEASE
Somerset man claims first award of season with 44% of public vote.
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Somerset’s Craig Overton has been voted the PCA Player of the Month for August 2020 on the back of his outstanding form in both the Bob Willis Trophy and the Vitality Blast.
The fast bowler claimed a sizable 44.1% of the public vote, holding off the challenge of Glamorgan’s Chris Cooke (25.2%) in second, Essex’s Simon Harmer (19.8%) in third and Gloucestershire’s Ryan Higgins (10.9%) in fourth.
The four-man shortlist for the August award was selected via the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings and, on the back of his performances in both first-class cricket and a solitary T20 fixture, Overton was top of the pile with 161.5 points.
Fans who voted via a poll on the PCA’s Twitter account agreed, meaning Overton is the first player to pick up the award in the shortened 2020 season.
“It’s obviously a nice feeling,” Overton said. “It shows that I’ve been putting in good performances for Somerset and hopefully I can keep that going for the remainder of the season.
“I had a bit of an advantage going into the England bubble before the start of the season and having a decent training block of two months or so. That meant that I could hit the ground running and obviously everything’s gone right from there.
“We’ve played on a few wickets that have done a little bit which helps as a seamer, but you’ve still got to bowl in the right areas and you’ve got to take wickets.”
The highlight of Overton’s outstanding August came during his side’s final Bob Willis Trophy fixture of the month, when he claimed match figures of 9-51 and struck 32 with the bat to help his side to a crushing 314-run over neighbours Gloucestershire.
The England international was subsequently named MVP of the Match with 50.16 MVP points – the fifth-highest figure attained by an individual in any domestic fixture this season.
It was the second time this season that Overton has claimed the award, after he was named MVP of the Match with 42.58 points following his side’s opening 289-run win over Glamorgan.
Overton’s form has inspired Somerset to the summit of the Bob Willis Trophy Central Group and, as a result, they sit amongst the hot favourites to progress to the final at Lord’s beginning on 23 September.
"We know we’ve got to put in a lot of effort, keep working hard and hopefully the rewards will come.”
“That win against Gloucestershire was probably up there with the best performances we (Somerset) have put in as a side in recent times. To win that game so convincingly with rain around in the last two days was a really good thing and hopefully that shows what we can do as a side going forward.
“I think all teams would like to get to the final of the Bob Willis Trophy. We’re in a good spot at the minute with one game to go and hopefully we can put in a good performance against Worcestershire this weekend.
“The Blast is a big competition for all sides, so we want to do well in that and get to the final of that as well.
“There’s a lot of cricket to be played before that, however, and a lot of things can go differently from how they have so far, so we know we’ve got to put in a lot of effort, keep working hard and hopefully the rewards will come.”
The MVP formula was designed by the PCA in conjunction with the players to identify the match-winning performers in any given fixture. On top of traditional batting and bowling averages, bonus points are awarded for key disciplines such as scoring quickly, claiming top-order wickets and taking catches in the field.
The Rankings therefore give the most accurate reflection of the game’s top performers.
Overton has proven to be just that this August – he is a deserved winner of the August PCA Player of the Month award.
Keep up-to-date with the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.