Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
Glamorgan batter takes prize alongside Western Storm captain.
Glamorgan and Western Storm have taken the PCA Player of the Month awards for July with Sam Northeast and Sophie Luff being rated as the top players on the PCA’s Most Valuable Player Rankings and securing the supporters’ vote.
Northeast was nominated amongst a strong top four in domestic men’s cricket which included Essex’s Simon Harmer, Leicestershire’s Colin Ackermann and Gloucestershire’s Zafar Gohar. With the public vote ultimately deciding the winner, Northeast received the majority of the independently verified public vote with 66%, Zafar Gohar was second with 15%.
The former Hampshire and Kent man follows in the footsteps of Harry Brook and double winner Shan Masood in lifting the Player of the Month trophy in 2022.
The Western Storm skipper impressed in a short month in domestic women’s cricket with four fixtures in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint trophy. Luff was up against Sunrisers’ Grace Scrivens, Southern Vipers’ Georgia Elwiss and Central Sparks’ Eve Jones. Luff secured 35% of the verified public vote with the 2021 MVP winner Jones just behind with 33%, coming second in consecutive months.
Luff is the third winner of the award this year, breaking the South East Stars run of success which saw Aylish Cranstone win the May award with Kalea Moore the standout winner in June.
Northeast wins men’s poll for July
Northeast scored an incredible 701 runs in July to secure his place as the number one player for the month on the PCA MVP rankings and sees him top the leading run scorers list in the LV= Insurance County Championship with 1,127 runs.
The 32-year-old was only dismissed twice in a brilliant July for the Glamorgan batter.
“It’s been a great month,” said Northeast. “We’ve had some really good wins, so we’re in a good position and it’s nice to get some recognition, especially from the PCA considering what great work they do.”
The stand out innings in July was Northeast’s record breaking 410* off 450 balls which included 45 fours and three sixes and earned him 67 MVP points moving him up to ninth on the Overall MVP rankings in the race for the £10,000 prize. The knock set up an unlikely win for Glamorgan as they beat Leicestershire by an innings and 28 runs.
“I don’t really know how that innings happened, I just got in the zone and kept going. I was playing well and not many times in your career do you get the chance to go on and get 400 so it was quite surreal. It’s something that I’ll always look back on fondly.
“At the start of the day we always said that we were going to declare but then there was a discussion at lunch as to whether we needed to get a few more runs to make sure we didn’t need to bat again.
“There was also ‘Cookey’s’ (Chris Cooke) double hundred to think about and the highest sixth wicket partnership of all time and whether or not I could keep going into the crazy four hundreds but we all came to the conclusion that we needed the rest of the game to bowl them out. The bowlers performed brilliantly to win us the game. It was the right decision at the time to declare and we were all in agreement.
“We’ve got a chance of getting promotion in to Division One and I’m loving every minute of it, so there’s some exciting times ahead for Glamorgan cricket.”
“It was a pretty flat wicket and you had to put everything in to it, the bowlers put so much effort in and everything went right for us, so winning the game in the end made it a special week.”
The Glamorgan right handed batter also enjoyed success in the Vitality Blast winning a Match MVP award against Essex for a blistering 97* off 56 balls with 10 fours and four sixes. With back to back wins Glamorgan are in with a great chance for promotion into the LV= Insurance County Championship Division One sitting in third just five points behind Middlesex with a game in hand.
“I’m really pleased with how things went in the T20 cricket for me this season, I got some good scores. As a team we were disappointed that we didn’t qualify for the quarter finals but I really enjoyed the experience and now we’ve got a chance of getting promotion in to Division One and I’m loving every minute of it, so there’s some exciting times ahead for Glamorgan cricket.”
Luff voted best player in July
Luff scored a brilliant 251 runs in the month at an average of 83.6, winning two Match MVP awards and earning 70 points on the rankings taking her up to eighth on the overall table.
“It’s obviously very pleasing to win player of the month,” said Luff. “I’ve had a couple of good games this month and it was just nice to be in the top four so to win the award is very special.
“I was up against some very good players and there’s been some great cricket throughout the domestic competitions so it was nice to win in such a high calibre group.”
The Western Storm number three scored 100 not out against Sunrisers in a three wicket win for her side which included 10 fours and a six earning her the Match MVP award and 32 points. She then picked up the Match MVP award in the next game scoring 95 against South East Stars.
“It was really pleasing to get the 100* against Sunrisers. I had a job to do for my team and I wasn’t really thinking about the three figures. I just knew I had to be there at the end to make sure we won the game and it just so happened that I needed a four to bring up the hundred, so it was fitting that I hit the winning runs but mainly I was pleased to get the win for Western Storm.
“I backed up my form with 95 the next week but those runs are bit futile in the end when you don’t get the win, it was disappointing that we couldn’t get over the line on that occasion.”
Luff is captaining the Western Storm side again and is excited by the youth of her side.
“I pride myself on leading from the front and I’m pleased I’ve been able to do that in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
“It’s a brilliant experience to be captain of this side and it’s something that I’ve done for a few years now. They’re a great bunch of players and we’ve got a young team which means we’re not as consistent as we want to be yet but we’re building and it’s an exciting squad with a lot of talent, we’ve just got to find that winning formula.”
“Thanks to everyone who voted, it’s nice to be recognised and hopefully I can continue to put in winning performances.”
Luff has moved from Welsh Fire over to the Lord’s based London Spirit franchise in the Hundred and can’t wait to get started on 14th August.
“Hopefully I’ve signed for a winning team, I’m looking forward to experiencing a new challenge with London Spirit this year and embracing the Hundred and I’m sure it’s going to be bigger and better this year.
“Thanks to everyone who voted, it’s nice to be recognised and hopefully I can continue to put in winning performances and have a good end to the season.”