Denly scoops PCA Player of the Year
Denly scoops PCA Player of the Year

Kent all-rounder Joe Denly has ended a memorable summer by winning the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year and dominating the evening with three further awards.

The top-order batsman was confirmed as the PCA Most Valuable Player last week and has now scooped the most prestigious individual award in English cricket after an unforgettable season to add to his call-up to England’s Test tour of Sri Lanka.

Voted for by current players, Denly has been rewarded thanks to his mammoth 1,729 runs and 57 wickets across all formats in domestic cricket. Made all the more remarkable by the fact he had only taken 75 wickets in his previous 14 seasons.

The 32-year-old was an exceptional force in white-ball cricket in 2018 and was up on stage twice more to receive the Royal London One-Day Cup Player of the Year and Vitality Blast Player of the Year. To add to his three trophies, he was also named in the Greene King Team of the Year

Denly was up against his teammate Matt Henry and Surrey pair Rory Burns and Rikki Clarke, as he received the most votes from his fellow peers and was presented with the Reg Hayter Cup at the 49th NatWest PCA Awards at the Roundhouse in London, one of 12 awards presented on the night.

Upon receiving the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year, Denly said:

“Being here tonight and being the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year, it’s a very proud day and the ultimate accolade in domestic cricket. It’s been a very enjoyable 12 months that’s for sure.

“The last couple of years is about enjoying cricket and having a good understanding of what works for me and what doesn’t, and really sticking to that and enjoying that.

“Playing against fantastic crickets throughout the years and being recognised for your contribution to your team, and what you achieved in that year is something very special and to be proud of.”

Fellow member of the England Test squad to tour Sri Lanka, Surrey’s Ollie Pope was presented with the John Arlott Cup for the NatWest PCA Young Player of the Year to cap off a season where the 20-year-old made his Test debut at Lord’s.

Averaging over 70 in Surrey’s County Championship title winning season and almost 40 in both white-ball tournaments, the middle-order batsman received two Test caps in the 4-1 defeat of India and beat off competition from a tightly contested award.

With Ed Barnard, Pat Brown, Sam Curran and Matthew Parkinson also nominated, Pope will travel to Sri Lanka knowing he has followed in the footsteps of the likes of Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Ben Stokes in winning the NatWest PCA Young Player of the Year.