PCA PRESS RELEASE
Four nominees are statistically April’s best performers in domestic cricket.
To see more articles,
Craig Overton, Matt Critchley, David Bedingham and Ryan Higgins are the four nominees for the April PCA Player of the Month award.
The first month of the 2021 season has seen four rounds of LV= Insurance County Championship take place, with performances up to and including Sunday 2 May being included in the April award.
The best players from those fixtures have been identified via the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings algorithm, which was refreshed and relaunched ahead of the 2021 season, with the winner set to be decided by a public vote.
The MVP was designed by the PCA in conjunction with the players to identify the top performers in the game. Relaunched in 2021 with assistance from cricket’s leading analytics experts CricViz, the algorithm takes into account key match-defining contributions on top of traditional batting and bowling averages to give the most accurate picture of the best performers in the game.
An MVP will be named for each domestic competition throughout the season, as well as a cross-format Overall MVP come the end of the campaign. The four nominees for the April PCA Player of the Month award are also the early frontrunners for that award, as they currently occupy the top four positions in both the Overall and County Championship MVP.
To help you decide which PCA member to vote for this month, below is a brief rundown of each of the four contenders’ individual highlights from April:
VOTING IS NOW CLOSED
Craig Overton (Somerset)
One of the most feared bowlers on the county circuit has carried his 2020 form into the new season, Overton having been named the 2020 Bob Willis Trophy MVP after scoring 202.5 MVP points during last year’s one-off competition.
This month, the Somerset paceman has scored more MVP points than any other player with 154.5 in total, including 122.7 for bowling alone – comfortably the highest figure of any player this season in that discipline. Overton was named the MVP of the Match against both Leicestershire (45.7 MVP points) and Middlesex (47.7 points), having claimed 16 wickets across the two fixtures at just 9.9 runs apiece, inspiring his side to victory on both occasions.
Matt Critchley (Derbyshire)
Derbyshire all-rounder Critchley currently sits second in the MVP behind Overton, with his 152.9 total MVP points split almost evenly between batting (88.7) and bowling (59.2).
Critchley currently boasts the highest MVP points total earned by a player in an individual fixture this season, having scored 72.1 points during his side’s draw with Worcestershire on the back of his 193 match runs and eight match wickets. The 24-year-old has been a model of consistency this month, at one stage passing fifty five times in six innings, and also taking at least one wicket every time he has bowled.
David Bedingham (Durham)
Bedingham has been in simply sensational form for Durham this month, having earned 141.5 MVP points in total including 122.5 for his batting alone, making him statistically the best batter in domestic cricket so far this year.
The right-hander has been named MVP of the Match on two occasions so far this season, including during his side’s draw with Nottinghamshire (56.4 MVP points) and also during Durham’s draw with Derbyshire (70.4 points). The latter fixture saw Bedingham post a career best 257 as well as an unbeaten 53 to score the second highest individual points score during a fixture this season.
Ryan Higgins (Gloucestershire)
One of the most dependable performers in county cricket has come up trumps again during April, with Higgins scoring 138 MVP points at an average of 34.5 points-per-game this month.
The all-rounder has, however, done most of his damage with the ball, his 103 MVP points for that discipline far outnumbering the 27 he has scored for his batting. Higgins was named MVP of the Match once this month, his seven match wickets at 18.1 scoring him 36 MVP points during his side’s stunning four-wicket victory over Leicestershire.