Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings in play as England aim for title defence.
The PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings will be keeping track of the top performers throughout England’s ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup campaign, as Heather Knight’s side aim to defend the title they dramatically won in 2017.
England’s campaign begins at 1am GMT on Saturday morning with a showdown against tournament favourites Australia in Hamilton, New Zealand, the first of seven scheduled fixtures in the group stage which will see the Three Lions take on every team in the tournament.
Spin bowler Sophie Ecclestone goes into the opening fixture leading the ODI MVP, having scored 41.9 MVP points in three appearances during England’s recent Ashes campaign.
Ecclestone and star all-rounder Nat Sciver (32.6 MVP points) are out in front in the 50-over rankings, with Kate Cross (23.1), Tammy Beaumont (21.6) and 2017 final hero Anya Shrubsole (16.8) making up the remainder of the top five.
The current top two were among England’s best performers during the side’s two warm-up fixtures in New Zealand, Sciver making 108 and 33 in big wins over Bangladesh and South Africa respectively, with Ecclestone claiming 3-23 in an excellent team bowling performance against the latter.
Lauren Winfield-Hill provided another notable performance, making a rapid 55 at the top of the order against Bangladesh, whilst newcomer Emma Lamb smashed 28 at a strike rate of 140 against the same opposition.
With established names such as Jenny Gunn, Laura Marsh and Sarah Taylor having all retired from international cricket since that memorable Lord’s final almost five years ago, the stage is also set for youngsters including Lamb (currently 14th in the ODI MVP), Freya Davies (9th), Charlie Dean (10th) and Sophia Dunkley (15th) to make their names on the biggest stage and move up the rankings.
Leading her side into the tournament, skipper Knight will also be aiming to recreate the form that saw her named the ODI MVP for summer 2021, after she scored 95.2 MVP points during bilateral 50-over series against India and World Cup hosts New Zealand.
The MVP Rankings were designed by the PCA in conjunction with CricViz and the players to identify the top performers in the game from a statistical point of view.
The white-ball algorithm takes into account expected performance on every ball from both a batting and bowling standpoint, and also considers historical scores at the venue being played at.
At the end of England Women’s 2021-22 bumper winter schedule, which has included an away Ashes series as well as the upcoming World Cup in New Zealand, an MVP will be named in each of the Test, ODI and IT20 formats, as well as an aggregated Overall MVP which rewards the best player across all formats.