PCA announce shortlist for Player of the Year award
With the County cricket season in England coming to a close, the Professional Cricketers’ Association have announced a four-man shortlist for the much coveted Natwest Player of the Year award, with two county championship division one players in the running.
Warwickshire’s Jeetan Patel and Durham’s Keaton Jennings are alongside division two players Graham Napier and Ben Duckett, who play for Essex and Northamptonshire respectively.
All-rounder Napier is coming to the end of his career, with the 36-year-old retiring from the game at the end of the season, and would love nothing more to sign off with such an achievement. As for Jennings, the opener has scored 2,706 runs across all forms of the game in 2016, and is up for the young player of the year award also.
21-year-old Duckett recently earnt his first call up to the England side for their upcoming tour with Bangladesh, where the tourists are the favourites to secure a test series win in the cricket odds from bookmakers Betway, with former England man Mark Ramprakash backing the youngster to impress on the international stage. With Duckett looking to earn a first test start,
England are 5/6 on to win the first test starting on the 7th October, which are better odds than last week before the squad was announced. Despite missing out on selection this time around, Ramprakash also believes that South-African born Jennings will not be made to wait too long for his first England selection, having scored 1,522 runs in just 16 country championship matches this season.
Meanwhile, having helped Essex to Division Two glory this season, taking 97 wickets and recording 378 runs along the way, Napier has already written his names into the history books. Given his success over his 20-year career, it would certainly not be a surprise if Napier collected the award as a final farewell to the game. As for Patel, the veteran Kiwi is on course to win the MVP award for the second time in three years, and having taken almost 100 wickets across all formats during his sixth season with Warwickshire, would certainly be a deserved winner.
Having also been nominated for the young player of the year award, Duckett’s Lancashire opener Haseeb Hameed is certainly making a big name for himself already. Alongside Kent’s Daniel Bell-Drummond and Surrey’s Sam Curran, the 19-year-old is an outsider with Betway to be England’s leading runs scorer this summer. Nominees will not have to wait long to learn their fate, with the winners being announced on September 28th.
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