Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
Middlesex batter and Oval Invincibles all-rounder win trophies.
Middlesex and Oval Invincibles players have taken the PCA Player of the Month awards for August with Stevie Eskinazi and Alice Capsey securing the supporters vote.
Shortlists were selected via the PCA’s Most Valuable Player Rankings meaning Eskinazi was nominated amongst a strong top four which included two players that were involved in the Royal London Cup with the Middlesex batter selected alongside Leicestershire’s Wiaan Mulder and two players that were involved in The Hundred – Northern Superchargers’ Adam Lyth and Oval Invincibles’ Will Jacks. Eskinazi secured the public vote with 39% but it was very close between the other three behind him with Jacks on 22%, Lyth on 21% and Mulder on 18%.
The Oval Invincibles all-rounder was up against some fierce competition in the Women’s award with Laura Wolvaardt and Invincibles teammates Lauren Winfield-Hill and skipper Suzie Bates also nominated. The 2021 cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year winner secured 42% of the public vote with Lauren Winfield-Hill in second place on 26%.
Eskinazi wins men’s award for August
Eskinazi was a deserving winner of this month’s award scoring an incredible 658 runs at a staggering average of 94 which included four hundreds and one fifty, giving him 129 MVP points.
The Middlesex opener and captain for the competition scored a career best 182 off 136 balls including 17 fours and six sixes against Surrey to win the Match MVP and add 35 points to his total.
“It is really pleasing to win the award however, it was disappointing that those runs in the One Day Cup didn’t lead to Middlesex qualifying despite winning five games. It was a fantastic month for me and captaining a young side I was looking to take on more responsibility as a senior player. I always knew if I played my best cricket I had a chance to do well but there is a big difference in thinking that and actually performing consistently.
“I felt I set the tone in a few matches and innings for our side and when it came to me talking about the way I wanted us to play it was nice for me to embody that from the start.”
“It’s been really nice to back up a couple of good years. Anybody can have a good year but the real challenge is creating that consistency and with so much analysis every year people will bowl differently at you so I really enjoy trying to be one step ahead.”
“We made promotion a massive priority because we’re a club with the depth that needs to push for first division cricket so we need to end the season well.”
The 28-year-old was the leading run scorer in The Royal London Cup and struck an incredible 79 fours and 14 sixes, however he had high hopes of being selected in The Hundred.
“I had really hoped to be part of The Hundred and not being selected was something that was really disappointing for me because I felt I deserved a go.
“If it was one year or a couple of good games you would have to keep setting your stall out to show teams you have the consistency but the really disappointing thing this year through the draft, the wildcard and replacement players is that at every stage and every juncture I felt like I’d enough credits in the bank to be considered. It did get to a point when I thought what more can I do? What more can I add to my game, is there anything missing? Fundamentally you get what you deserve in cricket and there are things you cannot control.”
Eskinazi won an incredible four Match MVPs throughout the group stages and broke a world record in becoming the first person to hit three consecutive scores of above 130 in List A cricket.
“I wasn’t aware of it. I was in Nottinghamshire for the third one and going into that game I had a personal goal to do it as I had scored back to back hundreds before in my career but never three. I wasn’t aware of any records though so when I got out for 135 at Grantham people were telling me that stat so it was pleasing and something that is a culmination of a lot of hard work.
“We’ve an important month of cricket to finish the season. We made promotion a massive priority because we’re a club with the depth that needs to push for first division cricket so we need to end the season well with these last three games.”
Capsey voted best player in August
The 2021 cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year winner continued to impress, finishing August with 75 MVP points and quickly becoming a vital part of the England set up.
With 93 runs at an average of 31 and six wickets at 13.7 as well as 16 fielding points during the month, Capsey continues to showcase her fantastic all-round abilities and is pleased with her work in August.
“It’s a real honour to receive one of these awards. To get the recognition from the fans is fantastic and any award from the PCA I cherish because it stands out to me, so I’m delighted to receive the award and I’m really grateful to everybody that voted for me.
“It has been an incredible month. To receive my first call-up to the England squad and go into the Commonwealth Games has been incredible. We hadn’t been part of a multi-sport event so it was really nice to share that new experience with everybody.
“Then going into The Hundred was really nice to join back up with the Oval Invincibles and I had a really enjoyable time playing with them.”
The 18-year-old feels she has been building momentum though out the summer and is looking forward to being part of the England IT20 squad facing India this month.
“I’m delighted to be picked in the squad and it’s going to be a different challenge against India which I’m really looking forward to.”
“I was struggling at the start of the season and I wasn’t putting in the performances that I was hoping for. It was a defining period of the season as it made me go back and work harder and after that I gained momentum and getting picked for the South Africa series was a real flip in my form. Form is so precious, especially as a batter so you have to look after it as much as possible and play on that momentum so that’s what I’ve been doing.”
“I’m delighted to be picked in the squad and it’s going to be a different challenge against India which I’m really looking forward to. Challenging myself against such high class Indian players will be exciting and I’m looking forward to joining up with the group.”