Saturday, April 20, 2024

Critchley is your April PCA Player of the Month

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Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association

Derbyshire man wins this month’s award with huge 61% of public vote.

Matt Critchley has been voted the April PCA Player of the Month on the back of his outstanding form during the opening four rounds of this year’s LV= Insurance County Championship.

The Derbyshire all-rounder claimed a huge 61% of the public vote to win the award ahead of second placed David Bedingham, third placed Craig Overton and fourth placed Ryan Higgins.

The shortlist of four nominees for the award was identified by the PCA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Rankings, which were revamped and relaunched ahead of the 2021 season, with Critchley earning 153 MVP points at an average of 38 points-per-game during his four appearances this month.

Critchley is the first PCA Player of the Month award recipient of 2021, the previous winner being Kent’s Zak Crawley who claimed the prize in September 2020.

Speaking to the PCA, Critchley explains how time off over the winter has helped him to improve his game during the early part of this season.

“I don’t think there’s a real secret to my game,” Critchley said, “but it’s been a lot of hard work over the winter and during the last few years that is now coming together. It was a shortened season last year so I missed out on a bit of cricket where I feel I could’ve impressed, and I’m looking to make up for lost time now.

“I’ve been looking forward to playing, so I’m just happy to be out there more than anything, and trying as much as I can to enjoy it while I am out there.

“To get this type of recognition means that I’m pleased with how it’s gone so far, and I’m obviously proud and very happy with how the start of the season has gone from a personal point of view.”

Having already topped the County Championship on two separate occasions this season, Critchley’s individual highlight so far was undoubtedly his remarkable performance against Worcestershire at the Incora County Ground.

Critchley scored 193 match runs, including his fourth first-class century, and took eight match wickets at 17.9 runs apiece to tally 72.1 MVP points – the highest score by an individual in any fixture so far this season.

“That was a really special few days for me. It was probably one of the most memorable games of my career for me personally. To score a hundred and get a five-fer was always something I wanted to do in the same game, and I nearly did it twice in the same fixture after getting 84 and 3-76!”

“It’s always a nice feeling to see your name at the top of the MVP leaderboards during the season.”

MATT CRITCHLEY

Though Critchley hasn’t benefited from the support of the Derbyshire fans in person, such performances have been earning him plaudits on social media throughout the month.

“I’ve definitely been feeling love from the fans. I’ve seen a lot of people wanting to congratulate me over social media and through text messages.

“Sometimes you can brush those things off, but when it’s there in black and white the meaning stays and it really does stick with you. So it’s always a nice feeling reading those comments.”

As for the future, the 24-year-old is hoping to achieve both personal and team success this season with what is a young squad at Derbyshire.

“As a team, we want to continue developing and competing in as many formats of the game as possible. We want to go as deep into tournaments as we can, and we’ve still got quite a young side so there still is a lot of learning to be done amongst some very exciting players.

“Personally, I want to just keep enjoying it, trying my best and scoring as many runs and taking as many wickets as possible. It’s always a nice feeling to see your name at the top of the MVP leaderboards during the season.”

For more information on the brand-new MVP Rankings, contact the PCA’s Head of Communications Luke Reynolds at luke.reynolds@thepca.co.uk or the PCA’s Communications Executive Peter Clark at peter.clark@thepca.co.uk.

View the brand-new MVP Rankings and keep up-to-date with the latest MVP news by following @pcaMVP on Twitter.

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