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Fast bowlers finish memorable summer as England’s Most Valuable Players.
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England ended a landmark summer of cricket with an impressive 135-run victory over Australia at the Kia Oval on Sunday, after which Chris Woakes was confirmed as their Most Valuable Player across all formats.
The all-rounder has had a consistent summer, excelling during England’s successful ICC Cricket World Cup campaign and the preceding five-match ODI series against Pakistan.
Indeed, so good was his form in the 50-over format that Woakes topped the ODI MVP, finishing five points clear of second-placed Joe Root. Woakes also finished fourth in the Test table, giving him 274 MVP points for the summer in total, enough to claim the Overall crown.
The individual highlight of Woakes’ summer came in the last ODI against Pakistan, when a brilliant bowling performance saw the 30-year-old claim figures of 5-54 – his third career ODI five-fer.
Woakes also stepped up to the plate when his side needed it most against Australia and New Zealand in the final stages of the World Cup. He produced combined figures of 6-57 across the semi-final and final of the competition to help hand England their maiden 50-over triumph.
In all, Woakes averaged 13.68 points-per-game through the summer – the most of any England player to have appeared in more than one format.
With Woakes leading the Three Lions’ bowling attack in the shorter formats, Stuart Broad has stepped up in James Anderson’s absence to do the same job for the Test side.
The 33-year-old continues to improve with age, and enjoyed one of his finest Test series to date against Australia, finishing with 23 Ashes wickets at 26.65 to his name.
That performance, along with match figures of 7-79 in the only Test against Ireland, was enough for Broad to accumulate 144 Test MVP points over the course of the summer, and claim the format-specific accolade for 2019.
Whilst Woakes and Broad deservedly pick up the Overall and Test accolades, 2019 will be remembered as the summer of Stokes.
England’s star all-rounder finished second and third in the Overall and Test tables, all the while producing moments that will be written into cricketing folklore.
From his breathtaking catch in the World Cup opener against South Africa to monumental innings in the final against New Zealand and against Australia at Headingley, Stokes has truly been his side’s man for all occasions.
The MVP algorithm is suited to a man of Stokes’ versatile talents, as it recognises the importance of the genuine all-rounder. Bonus points are awarded, for example, for scoring a high proportion of your team’s runs, claiming key opposition wickets and taking catches in the field.
Stokes has excelled in all three of these disciplines and more to finish the summer as England’s standout performer in the crucial moments.
England Test captain Root ended the summer in second place of the Overall MVP after another consistent year, which saw him play in 24 games for his country, the only man to play in every encounter.
In doing so, the Yorkshire batsman picked up 263 MVP points en-route to breaking the record for most England games played by an individual in any given summer.
This summer will also be remembered for the emergence of a future star of world cricket in Jofra Archer.
It feels like a long time since there was a debate surrounding the inclusion of the 24-year-old in England’s World Cup squad. Archer finished the competition as his side’s leading wicket-taker with 20 at 23.05, and showed remarkable strength of character to bowl the Super Over that ended with England winning the final.
The fast bowler continued that form into his Test debut against Australia at Lord’s, touching speeds of 96mph in a ferocious spell of bowling to Steve Smith that will live long in the memory of those who saw it.
Six-wicket hauls at Headingley and the Kia Oval followed, with Archer finishing the Ashes as England’s second most prolific bowler, with 22 at 20.27. His excellent performances are reflected in a fourth-placed finish in the Overall MVP and third-placed finish in the Test table.
However, of the 27 players to have represented England across all formats this summer, it’s the consistent Woakes who will go down as the Three Lions’ Overall Most Valuable Player.
View the PCA’s England MVP Rankings here.
Keep up-to-date with all the latest MVP news by following the @pcaMVP on Twitter.