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Australian named Most Valuable Player after thrilling tournament finale.
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D’Arcy Short has been named the PCA’s Most Valuable Player of the 2019 Vitality Blast, after a thrilling Edgbaston Finals Day saw Essex Eagles lift the trophy for the very first time.
The 29-year-old led the format-specific ranking almost from day one, eventually finishing with 186 MVP points – 25 clear of the tournament’s top run-scorer Babar Azam in second place.
Moeen Ali was the only player who could have realistically overtaken Short going into the final of the Blast on Saturday. However, it was instead a Simon Harmer-inspired Essex side that overcame Ali’s Worcestershire Rapids to earn their maiden Blast title.
Harmer was outstanding on the day, claiming the PCA MVP Player of the Match award in both the semi-final and the final. His combined figures of 7-35 was the best ever return by a single bowler on finals day.
The South African off-spinner was not in with a shout of winning the Blast MVP, but has widened his lead at the summit of the Overall Ranking. Whilst Ali was excellent with bat and ball for the Rapids, the Blast MVP crown was a step too far for him – the England man eventually finished third in the table.
The MVP algorithm was designed by the PCA in conjunction with the players to reward match-winning performances, and recognises the importance of the genuine all-rounder.
The aforementioned Short has been just that for the Chester-le-Street-based side this year, a mainstay at the top of the order and regularly bowling his full complement of four overs.
Although he couldn’t inspire Durham to a quarter-final berth, Short is proud of the way he has performed from an individual perspective.
“It’s a great honour to be named MVP, especially given that it was my first year playing in the Vitality Blast,” Short said.
“I always want to do well and, although it was unfortunate that Durham couldn’t make it through to the knockout stages, I was pleased with my own performances whilst I was there.”
Short is globally renowned for his ability in the shortest format, being named the Player of the Series in Australia’s Big Bash League for both the 2017-18 and 2018-19 season. He completes a unique double in holding both the BBL Player of the Series and Blast MVP awards simultaneously.
“It’s great to achieve that double and it’s certainly something I won’t forget.
“Finishing above guys like AB de Villiers, Aaron Finch and Glenn Maxwell definitely ranks pretty highly in terms of my own personal achievements.”
When quizzed about his favourite aspects of playing the game in this country, Short is keen to heap praise on his home supporters at Durham.
“The fans up at Durham are always right behind you – win or lose.
“And the weather wasn’t actually too bad either! Even if it deteriorated a little bit towards the end of the season.”
With an ICC T20 World Cup due to take place in October next year, the Australian international is keen to secure a starting berth in his national side’s first choice XI.
“Hopefully I can kick on from winning the Blast MVP and take some form into the Big Bash over Christmas.
“My main goal for this summer is definitely to cement my place in that Aussie line-up, whether it’s one-day or T20. I just want to try and be a regular performer for Australia on the international stage.”
View the Vitality Blast MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.