Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Livinsgtone & van Niekerk win Hundred PCA MVPs

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Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association

£5,000 prizes and MVP trophies handed out following Lord’s finals.

Birmingham Phoenix and Oval Invincibles all-rounders Liam Livingstone and Dané van Niekerk have won The Hundred PCA MVP awards after being standout performers in the inaugural 100-ball competition.

The highly impressive duo were presented with a £5,000 cheque and The Hundred PCA MVP trophy following The Hundred finals at Lord’s on Saturday.

The Hundred has confirmed Livingstone as one of the most sought after players in the shortest form and as he has brought his England form into the 100-ball arena. The swashbuckling batter smashed 348 runs across the competition, well clear of Ben Duckett who finished second in the run charts, 114 runs behind.

However, the MVP is statistically assessed through a new algorithm for 2021, meaning more than just traditional runs and wickets. The formula enables players to score or lose points on every ball, based on their expected performance on that ball, with the venue being played at also taken into account.

Therefore, it was not just the volume of Livingstone’s runs, it was how he scored them. With a huge 27 sixes in nine innings (12 more than his closest challenger Moeen Ali), three fifties and the highest individual score of the men’s competition with an unbeaten 92, Livingstone was unequivocally the MVP with 117.81 points.

The 28-year-old English star also took five wickets, including one in the final and his performances are likely to have increased his chances of being involved in the ICC T20 World Cup in October.

Livingstone’s nearest challenger for the MVP was his Birmingham teammate Adam Milne, the New Zealander was the joint top wicket-taker with 12 scalps along with fast bowler Marchant de Lange and leg-spinners Adil Rashid and Rashid Khan. Milne ended on 106.45 MVP points, just 11.36 behind Livingstone.

The top performer for Southern Brave men’s team was fast bowler Tymal Mills. Widely regarded as one of the fastest white-ball bowlers in the world, he finished in third position in the MVP and was a crucial figure in helping the Ageas Bowl outfit lift The Hundred trophy.

Liam Livingstone, The Hundred PCA MVP for 2021 in the men’s competition, said:

“It’s years of hard work travelling around the world trying to get better at my own game and playing in franchise tournaments. I have really enjoyed this tournament and hopefully we have entertained the crowds which is ultimately what we wanted to do and to see so many kids here today has been great.

“Obviously I am very disappointed (at losing the final). Playing the final today at Lord’s, the lads have really enjoyed it, we have played some great cricket throughout the tournament but ultimately beaten by the better team on the day and that can happen in cricket.

“It’s been brilliant, we didn’t know what to expect at the start of the tournament. As its gone on its got stronger and stronger and I think selling out grounds has shown people are interested in this and hopefully we are inspiring kids to get into cricket and hopefully the next generation are going to really enjoy playing cricket growing up.”

Invincibles skipper van Niekerk also benefited from her all-round attributes with the leg-spinner scoring crucial runs, taking vital catches and expertly leading her side throughout to end with 129.19 MVP points.

The South African star scored 26 important runs opening the batting in the final which saw her leap to the top of the run charts with 259, 10 more than Northern Superchargers batter Jemimah Rodrigues.

van Niekerk hit two fifties across nine innings with an average of 43.17 runs but that is only part of her story after taking eight wickets and had the 12th best economy rate of 5.5 per five balls to show her all-round class.

Australian Erin Burns came second with 107.81 points for Birmingham Phoenix and 17-year-old Alice Capsey was the highest placed English player with 103.13 points, an incredible debut season for the all-rounder.

Dané van Niekerk, The Hundred PCA MVP for 2021 in the women’s competition, said:

“(We have) A group of incredible players who make my life easier, I don’t have to look after them at all, I can concentrate on my game which makes life a lot easier.

“The MVP should go to each and every (Oval Invincibles) player that is standing there.

“You have to back the processes and the work that you do. A lot of players have put in a lot of hard yards to perform for their team and their families and you need to back that and trust what you have done is enough and thank goodness it was enough.”

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