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England all-rounder picks up main prize at 50th NatWest PCA Awards ceremony.
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England’s star all-rounder Ben Stokes has capped off his summer of a lifetime by picking up the Reg Hayter Cup for the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year at the 50th NatWest PCA Awards ceremony this evening.
The 28-year-old has scooped the most prestigious individual award in English cricket after an unforgettable international summer saw England claim their maiden ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup trophy before going on to draw an enthralling home Ashes series against Australia.
Stokes’ individual achievements within that context have been recognised by his fellow professionals, with his unbeaten 84 in the World Cup final and blistering 135 not out to win the third Ashes Test at Headingley in particular capturing the imagination of the players and the general public alike. Those two performances have also been voted the best for England in the last 50 years according to research revealed by the PCA this morning.
The Durham man was voted by his peers from both the England squad and the county circuit to receive the award, claiming the Reg Hayter Cup ahead of three worthy fellow nominees in Simon Harmer, Ryan Higgins and Dom Sibley.
“I am over the moon that players think I am worthy of winning the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year through my performances this summer.”
Tom Banton and Sophie Ecclestone joined Stokes in winning their categories, with all three awards selected by current professional players. The 2018 PCA Rookie Camp attendees topped off fantastic summers with Somerset’s Banton winning the PCA Young Player of the Year and Ecclestone winning the NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer.
Stokes is the sixth player to be awarded the PCA Young Player of the Year and NatWest PCA Players’ Player after his 2013 success as a 22-year-old and is the first player to lift the Reg Hayter Cup for their England performances since Andrew Flintoff in 2005.
“It’s hard to put it into words,” said Stokes.
“I am over the moon that players think I am worthy of winning the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year through my performances this summer.
“You can take a lot of personal pride when you receive this award because it’s your peers that vote for you. Earning this award is a huge moment and something I am very gracious of and I am sure the previous 49 winners are gracious of too.
“While this is an individual award, it is within a team sport so I am only in this position because of what other guys in our squad have achieved as well. What we have done as a team in 2019 is phenomenal, to win the World Cup and draw the Ashes has been a fantastic summer and something I am proud of personally and as a team.”
While Stokes has been rested for England’s upcoming T20I series in New Zealand, Banton, who tonight received the John Arlott Cup for the PCA Young Player of the Year, will soon be in line to make his international debut.
The 20-year-old has produced outstanding form throughout the 2019 season, particularly excelling in the limited overs formats.
Banton’s 549 runs in this year’s Vitality Blast were bettered only by his opening partner Babar Azam (578). He also hit a memorable maiden T20 hundred against Kent in August, which helped him to scoop his first PCA Player of the Month award.
Banton also hit 454 runs at 41.27 to help Somerset win the Royal London One-Day Cup at Lord’s in May, the club’s first trophy for 14 years.
Claiming the PCA Young Player of the Year award ahead of James Bracey, Zak Crawley and Sibley, Banton will board the plane to New Zealand in the knowledge that he is following in the footsteps of previous winners such as Stokes, Joe Root, Alastair Cook, Andrew Flintoff and Michael Atherton.
After receiving the PCA Young Player of the Year award, Banton said:
“I am very grateful and thankful to those guys who voted for me, I never expected it to be honest looking at the other nominees. I am very thankful for the award.
“If someone had told me the year I would’ve had at the start of the season I wouldn’t have believed them. I have altered some technical faults I had at the beginning of the year with Marcus Trescothick and he has helped me a lot this year and has made me believe I can go all the way.
“To have my name on the John Arlott Cup is a special feeling. As a youngster I’ve looked up to so many of the previous winners and tried to be like them. Some of these players are my idols so it’s nice to know they have won it before me. Also, these players are some of the very best so you never know what can happen, but if I keep working hard I could follow them.”
Ecclestone made history this evening by becoming the first player to win the NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer award on multiple occasions.
Having picked up the accolade in 2018 after enjoying something of a breakthrough season, the 20-year-old has cemented her place in the England line-up this season and is a worthy winner of the coveted prize.
The left-arm-spinner was her national side’s leading wicket-taker in both the series against the West Indies and the Women’s Ashes this summer. She has produced some of her best form in T20Is, a good sign ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup early next year.
Upon receiving the NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer award this evening, Ecclestone said:
“The PCA Awards is always a great evening and it’s amazing to be voted the NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer by the girls.
“I wish we’d played a bit better during the summer but it’s a really special feeling to be the first player to win it twice – I’m sure Mum and Dad will be really proud of me as well.
“I feel like I’m a bit more of a presence in the team now than I was last year, and I’ve enjoyed getting my point of view across.
“The highlight was definitely when we came back and won the last T20I. It was really nice to end on a high and show that we’re a team to be reckoned with at the T20 World Cup next year.
“The big goal is to get ready for that World Cup and show everyone what we’re all about.”
David Leatherdale, Chief Executive of the Professional Cricketers’ Association, said:
“What an incredible summer. The 50th NatWest PCA Awards has proved to be a great celebration of a landmark year for the game in this country.
“England’s World Cup success, a stirring Ashes series and the heroics of tonight’s award winner Ben Stokes in particular have captured the public’s imagination in a way which we haven’t seen since 2005.
“Tonight is about championing the individual players across the county and international game, so congratulations to Ben, Tom, Sophie and the rest of the winners this evening. The greatest honour you can receive as a professional is to be recognised by your fellow players, and all three should take great confidence as they strive for international success this winter.”
The 50th NatWest PCA Awards were held at the Roundhouse in Camden. The event, organised by the PCA in conjunction with the England & Wales Cricket Board, celebrates the highlights of the international and domestic season with all proceeds going to the players’ charity, the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.
The full list of the 2019 50th NatWest PCA Awards winners
- Ben Stokes (England & Durham)
John Arlott Cup for the PCA Young Player of the Year:
- Tom Banton (Somerset)
NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer:
- Sophie Ecclestone (England)
Specsavers Test Player of the Summer:
- Stuart Broad (England)
Royal London One Day International Player of the Summer:
- Chris Woakes (England)
Greene King Team of the Year:
- Billy Godleman (Derbyshire)
- Dom Sibley (Warwickshire)
- Tom Banton (Somerset)
- Wayne Madsen (Derbyshire)
- Sam Hain (Warwickshire)
- Ryan Higgins (Gloucestershire)
- Dane Vilas – wicketkeeper (Lancashire)
- Lewis Gregory (Somerset)
- Simon Harmer – captain (Essex)
- Kyle Abbott (Hampshire)
- Ben Sanderson (Northamptonshire)
Specsavers County Championship Player of the Year:
- Simon Harmer (Essex)
Vitality Blast Player of the Year:
- D’Arcy Short (Durham)
Royal London One-Day Cup Player of the Year:
- Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire)
ECB Special Award:
- Eoin Morgan
Harold Goldblatt Award for the PCA Umpire of the Year:
- Alex Wharf
Greene King PCA England Masters Player of the Summer:
- Jonathan Trott