PCA PRESS RELEASE
England MVP reset ahead of long-awaited West Indies series.
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Ben Stokes will captain the England Test side for the first time as he attempts to defend his Overall MVP crown earned in New Zealand and South Africa over the winter.
Stokes, who steps into usual skipper Joe Root’s shoes with the latter attending the birth of his second child, was deemed England’s most effective player across all formats for the 2019/20 winter. He accumulated 181 MVP points at an average 20.15 points-per-game before England’s tour of Sri Lanka was cut short due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
His winter efforts came off the back of a memorable 2019 summer which saw Stokes produce the two greatest individual England performances of the last 50 years before being named NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year in October.
However, the Durham man finished third in the Overall MVP for summer 2019 behind Chris Woakes and Root, having been rested for the five-match ODI series against Pakistan which began the summer.
The PCA will be keeping track of all the top individual performers throughout the upcoming West Indies series via its purpose-built Most Valuable Player Rankings.
On top of traditional batting and bowling averages, the algorithm takes into account important contributions such as scoring a high proportion of your team’s runs, claiming top-order wickets and taking catches in the field.
The cross-format Overall MVP will run alongside the format-specific Test MVP, which was also claimed by Stokes (144 MVP points) for the winter ahead of Root (130) and Stuart Broad (101).
Broad, who was named Test MVP for summer 2019 following a stellar Ashes series, will be motivated by the prospect of personal milestones with bat and ball – he is five wickets away from 1,100 career scalps and needs 47 runs to reach a total of 6,000 in all forms of professional cricket.
If selected, his teammate and fellow seam bowler Woakes will also be in the hunt for 100 Test wickets (five needed) as well as 500 first-class wickets (three needed).
The competition for fast bowling spots is high as speedsters Jofra Archer and Mark Wood are fit and ready to play for England in the same Test for the first time.
In his previous Test outing, Wood took nine wickets in the match against South Africa including 5-46 in the first innings, whilst Archer proved to be England’s breakout star of last summer’s World Cup and Ashes double header. Due to injury problems, neither managed to make a significant impact on the winter MVP, however, and both will be looking to rectify that this summer.
In the batting department, returning opener Rory Burns needs just 21 runs to reach 1,000 in Tests, which would cement a solid start to his international career blotted only by a freak ankle injury sustained whilst playing football in Cape Town in January.
The Surrey skipper will aim to compete with the likes of Root, Stokes and Joe Denly in the MVP stakes – the trio were ranked as England’s three most effective batsmen during the winter with 100, 88 and 86 MVP points respectively.
Joining Burns in returning from injury is veteran seamer James Anderson. The most prolific Test fast bowler of all time will look to move ahead of Sam Curran (83 MVP points), Broad (83) and Stokes (66) – England’s three most effective bowlers during the winter.
The MVP Rankings will remain live until the conclusion of England’s summer 2020 schedule, at which point a winner will be announced for each format as well as a cross-format Overall MVP to inherit Stokes’ crown.
View the England MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.