Duo are outstanding 20-over performers at domestic and international level.

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Samit Patel’s excellent group stage form has helped him to win the Vitality Blast Player of the Year, whilst Liam Livingstone has been confirmed as the Vitality IT20 Men’s Player of the Summer at the 2021 cinch PCA Awards.

Though Notts Outlaws exited the T20 competition in heartbreaking fashion at the hands of Hampshire at the quarter-final stage, Patel’s magnificent individual contribution saw him accumulate 228 points in the PCA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Rankings – 58 clear of second-placed Glenn Phillips – to win this season’s fifth cinch PCA award.

The 36-year-old scored 135 MVP points for his bowling alone, the most of any player in the competition despite Patel finishing outside the top 10 in terms of wickets taken (16).

Patel instead accumulated most of his bowling points as a result of his outstanding economy rate (6.63), often when bowling in the powerplay, combined with the fact that almost all of his wickets were key opposition batters. Every single one of Patel’s 16 scalps in this year’s competition were top six batters, and amazingly 10 were openers.

In addition, the all-rounder earned 65.7 MVP points for his batting, having contributed an impressive 309 runs at an average of 30.9, with a more-than-handy strike rate of 131, a crucial factor in the 20-over format.

He was named MVP of the Match – the award given to the player who scores the most MVP points in any given fixture – five times out of a possible 15 during this year’s Blast, demonstrating his importance to an Outlaws side that won nine of its 14 group stage fixtures and were considered among the hot favourites to go all the way in the competition for a second year in succession.

Vitality Blast Player of the Year, Samit Patel, said: “It’s a really good feeling to win the Vitality Blast Player of the Year. From an individual point of view, I’m happy with the way the season has gone and to round it off with a cinch PCA Award is pretty special.

“I’m used to bowling well in the tournament, but I’m especially happy with the way I’ve batted in T20s this year. I’ve had the mindset of scoring boundaries early in my innings, which isn’t something I usually do. You need a little bit of luck that way, but this year it’s paid off.

“There’s no mystery to the way I bowl. I just like to mix up the pace and stay within the width of the stumps, unless the batter is getting on top of me in which case I like to switch it up to try to tempt a mistake.

“The motivation has been there for Notts to win the Blast all along, especially since no team has ever retained the title. Winning it back-to-back was one of our goals, but unfortunately we fell short after a disappointing quarter-final. Hopefully we can come back stronger next year.”

Livingstone ends landmark summer with award

Livingstone has enjoyed a summer to remember on both the international and domestic stage, and he can now add the Vitality IT20 Men’s Player of the Summer award to his list of achievements.

Having only appeared in two IT20 fixtures before 2021, the all-rounder has not been fazed on the biggest stage, appearing in all six of England’s 20-over games this summer and scoring 92.4 MVP points which was well clear of Chris Jordan (57.8) in second position.

The 28-year-old scored more batting MVP points (64.4) than any other player accumulated in total, thanks in no small part to a majestic 103 from 43 balls made during England’s first IT20 against Pakistan on 16 July – the fastest IT20 century ever by an England player.

In total, Livingstone scored 190 IT20 runs at an average of 47.5 and with an awesome strike rate of 183 across the international schedule. His form helped England to an impressive return of five wins from six fixtures, meaning he also added five bonus MVP points to his tally.

Having been named the Vitality IT20 Men’s Player of the Summer, and also been one of the stars of the inaugural Hundred, Livingstone has put himself firmly in the frame for selection at the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which gets underway in the United Arab Emirates and Oman in October.

Vitality IT20 Men’s Player of the Summer, Liam Livingstone, said: “I want to say a big thank you to Vitality for giving me the IT20 Men’s Player of the Summer award. I feel like I’ve had a great summer and I’ve really been able to enjoy my cricket again.

“I’ve really enjoyed being back amongst the England boys and we’ve played some really good cricket. Hopefully we can carry that on into the World Cup in the coming months!.”

The Vitality Blast Player of the Year and Vitality IT20 Men’s Player of the Summer have been selected by the PCA MVP Rankings, Patel and Livingstone finishing top of their respective tables which have been 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 20-over fixtures, with the venue being played at also taken into account.

Patel will receive a £2,500 cash prize for topping the MVP, with competition prize money equal across men’s and women’s domestic cricket this season. He succeeds 2020 winner Will Jacks in being named the best player in English men’s domestic 20-over cricket this summer.

Livingstone, meanwhile, follows in the footsteps of 2020 recipient Dawid Malan in winning the main international men’s T20 award at the cinch PCA Awards.

The pair join Scott Borthwick (Royal London Cup Player of the Year) and Joe Root (LV= Insurance Test Player of the Summer) in having picked up a men’s cinch PCA Award this season.

This year, awards are taking place virtually in the absence of an in-person event. Winners are being announced following the final ball in each competition at a domestic level and each format at international level.

Tuesday 28 September will see the finale of the cinch PCA Awards with the four headline awards being announced live on Sky Sports during lunch on the opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy final.

For the first time at the PCA Awards, there will be a Women’s Young Player of the Year. Following the introduction of 41 domestic professional female players and the creation of the women’s elite domestic structure, players will have the opportunity to vote for a breakthrough star of 2021.

With cinch sponsoring the four player-selected awards, the winners of the Men’s, Women’s, Men’s Young and Women’s Young Player of the Year awards will all be revealed in a blockbuster presentation of the best performers in English cricket in 2021.

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

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