Crawley up for cricket honours
Crawley up for cricket honours

Kent and England’s Zak Crawley could become just the second player to win both the NatWest PCA Men’s Player of the Year and the Vitality PCA Young Player of the Year awards in the same season as he leads the shortlists for the main prizes ahead of this Saturday’s NatWest Cricket Awards. 

Crawley, 22, is the only player in contention for both awards after a breakout season in an England shirt which included his memorable innings of 267 against Pakistan.  

The Kent man is joined by Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer, Somerset speedster Craig Overton and England all-rounder Chris Woakes on the shortlist for the headline men’s award.

The winner will follow in the footsteps of 2019 winner Ben Stokes in receiving the Reg Hayter Cup on Saturday. The only player to win both of the main men’s awards in the same season was Ben Duckett in 2016, and Crawley could join him if he picks up the Vitality PCA Young Player of the Year on Saturday. 

He is shortlisted alongside Surrey’s Will Jacks, who has starred in this year’s Vitality Blast, and Somerset’s Tom Lammonby, who scored three hundreds in his final three Bob Willis Trophy fixtures, including 116 in the Lord’s final. 

As a result of this year’s shortened schedule, the NatWest PCA Women’s Player of the Year will take into account performances dating back to October 2019, rather than focusing solely on the summer. 

Ahead of the final Vitality IT20 where England look to complete a 5-0 series whitewash over the West Indies, rookie leg-spinner Sarah Glenn, captain Heather Knight and all-rounder Nat Sciver have been shortlisted to succeed Sophie Ecclestone, who has picked up the prestigious prize for the last two years in a row. 

The NatWest Cricket Awards will be the first event of its kind when it takes place on Saturday during the Vitality Blast Finals Day.

It will incorporate both the 51st NatWest PCA Awards and the annual NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs) to produce a ceremony celebrating all aspects of cricket in England and Wales in this most unique of summers. 

The NatWest OSCAs highlight outstanding service to grassroots cricket and the local community while also showcasing the integral role volunteers have played during a challenging summer for the game.

The three awards to be presented are the Connecting Communities Award, Proactive Leadership Award and the #Raisethebat Award. NatWest has been a proud sponsor of cricket in England and Wales for 39 years, and the NatWest CricketForce programme is the UK’s largest annual sport volunteering programme which helps thousands of clubs upgrade their facilities each year.  

Finals Day will take place in support of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust, with both funds and awareness being raised for the players’ charity at the same time as the NatWest Cricket Awards winners being announced. 

NatWest PCA Men’s Player of the Year – Nominees

Zak Crawley 

Crawley has been in sensational form for club and country this summer, making big runs in both the longest and shortest formats over the past three months. The undoubted highlight of Crawley’s season was his stunning 267 during the third Test against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl, with the batsman replicating his international form on the domestic stage when making a blistering maiden T20 hundred against Hampshire on 14 September. 

Simon Harmer 

The 2019 Overall MVP has once again been inspirational for Essex in 2020, excelling in the longest format to take his team all the way to Bob Willis Trophy glory. The competition’s leading wicket-taker finished with 38 scalps to his name at an average of 15.86, and is the favourite to make it two Overall MVP wins from two following the conclusion of Vitality Blast Finals Day on Saturday. This is the second year in succession that Harmer has been shortlisted for the main award.  

Craig Overton 

PCA Player of the Month for August, Overton has been striking fear into the hearts of domestic batting line-ups all summer, his fiery brand of fast bowling earning him 36 wickets in all formats this campaign. The Bob Willis Trophy MVP’s individual highlight came during his side’s group stage fixture against neighbours Gloucestershire, when he claimed match figures of 9-52 and struck 32 with the bat to help his side to a 314-run win. 

Chris Woakes 

The work of England’s unsung hero often goes under the radar, but Woakes has stepped into the limelight this summer, particularly in the Test arena where he has inspired the Three Lions to series victories against both the West Indies and Pakistan. ‘The Wizard’ contributed with both bat and ball this summer, taking 21 wickets and scoring 233 runs at 38.9 an average of across all formats, his 84 not out sealing a memorable first Test victory over Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford. For the second year in succession, Woakes was statistically England’s best performer across all formats according to the PCA MVP algorithm. 

Vitality PCA Young Player of the Year – Nominees

Zak Crawley 

Still only 22 years of age, Crawley has built on his evident potential by marking himself out as one of England’s brightest young talents this summer. Having made 417 Test runs against the West Indies and Pakistan with an average of 69.5, Crawley proved his ability in all formats by returning to appear in the Vitality Blast for Kent, scoring 335 runs at 41.9 apiece in the T20 tournament and winning the PCA’s Player of the Month for September. 

Will Jacks 

Long touted as a young player possessing huge natural talent, Jacks has cemented his place as one of the most dependable performers in T20 cricket this campaign. Opening both the batting and bowling for Surrey throughout much of the tournament, the 21-year-old is the current Vitality Blast MVP leader with 123.5 MVP points to his name at an average of 12.4 points-per-game.  

Tom Lammonby 

Lammonby, 20, has been Somerset’s man for the big occasion in 2020, scoring three second innings hundreds in the space of six weeks in first-class cricket.  One of those knocks was an unforgettable 116 in the Bob Willis Trophy final against Essex at Lord’s, which contributed to his 459 runs in the tournament at an average of 51 – the third most of any player. 

NatWest PCA Women’s Player of the Year – Nominees

Sarah Glenn 

Having made her international debut late last year, Glenn’s meteoric rise to the top of the game has been something of a fairytale story. Having won the PCA ODI MVP after that series against Pakistan, the leg-spinner’s excellent form has continued into 2020, in a year when she has consistently contributed with both bat and ball. Her 13 wickets at 11.7 since the beginning of the T20 World Cup mark her out as one of England’s top performers in the shortest format during that time. 

Heather Knight 

Experienced skipper Heather Knight has long been one of England’s most dependable performers across all formats, and this year has been no different. An impressive string of performances at the T20 World Cup saw Knight secure a haul of 193 tournament runs at an average of 64.33. That included a special innings of 108 not out against Thailand and in doing so she became the first male or female England player to score centuries in all three formats of the game. 

Nat Sciver 

Sciver will be looking to win the main PCA women’s award for a second time, having previously been voted the NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer in 2017. The all-rounder was named both the Overall and IT20 MVP at the end of England’s winter schedule, having scored 125 MVP points across ODI and IT20 series’ against Pakistan as well as the T20 World Cup. Sciver was England’s top run-scorer in that tournament, scoring 202 in her four innings whilst passing 50 on three occasions. 

The NatWest Cricket Awards are to commence at 10.30am on Saturday 3 October with awards announced throughout the day.

The NatWest PCA Men’s Player of the Year, NatWest PCA Women’s Player of the Year and Vitality PCA Young Player of the Year are set to be revealed from 6.15pm in the build-up to the Vitality Blast Final.