Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
Middlesex and South East Stars all-rounders pick up trophies.
The PCA Player of the Month awards for April have gone to South East Stars’ Paige Scholfield and Middlesex’s Ryan Higgins with the two all-rounders receiving the most supporter votes following being shortlisted thanks to the PCA’s Most Valuable Player Rankings.
Higgins beat strong competition from the other three nominees in April’s LV= Insurance County Championship fixtures, being voted for by the public ahead of Lancashire’s Keaton Jennings, Nottinghamshire’s Ben Duckett and Kent’s Ben Compton.
With the public ultimately making the decision on who wins the awards, Higgins received 53% with Compton in second securing 22% of the vote.
Meanwhile, Scholfield impressed in April securing the most votes from a strong top four which included Sarah Glenn, Lauren Winfield-Hill and Lucy Higham. The South East Stars all-rounder also secured 53% of the public vote with Higham in second on 21%.
The Middlesex and South East Stars all-rounders both receive a PCA Player of the Month trophy for the first time in their careers.
Higgins takes men’s vote for April
The Middlesex all-rounder stole the show in April finishing with an incredible 147 MVP points, a massive 45 points ahead of second place.
Higgins scored 327 runs at an average of 54.5 which included four half centuries, earning him second spot on the batting table for April with 83 points.
With ball in hand, the 28-year-old continued his good form, taking 12 wickets at an average of 20.4 alongside three catches, all adding to his mammoth points tally.
Presented his award at the Kia Oval ahead of Middlesex’s preparations to take on Surrey, Higgins said: “It’s amazing because I wasn’t expecting it, I’ve been on that list a few times but never won it so this is great.
“The other three have all had fantastic starts to the summer, those guys have all played magnificently.
“I’ve been really happy with my batting, when there’s been a tough situation I’ve tried to stay in and score runs.
“Seeing the quality of the England guys playing in the early part of the season has been great for the county game and something that can motivate you to do better.
“It’s means a lot with it being a vote by the fans, I’m very grateful to everyone that voted. I think it’s great that people are out there enthusiastically watching and following county cricket and long may that continue.”
Scholfield wins women’s poll for April
Despite just two Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy matches in April for the teams, Scholfield topped the table securing 47 points.
Scoring 142 runs, only being dismissed once and with a strike-rate of 92.8, the South East Stars recruit from the Southern Vipers also chipped in with two wickets.
A maiden century earned her a Match MVP award against Thunder, picking up 29 MVP points.
Scholfield smashed an unbeaten 111 off just 90 balls with 11 fours and five sixes in a 134-run partnership with Alice Davidson-Richards.
Receiving her award ahead of the Stars fixture against Northern Diamonds, the 27-year-old said: “It’s an honour to win the award, I’ve never won anything like this before, I’m like a giddy kid in a candy store.
“There were some great players that were nominated so it’s an honour to be up there with those players.
“I’ve been working on my batting with Darren Stevens during the winter, playing aggressively but staying controlled and being more mature with the bat.
“It felt great scoring a professional hundred, it’s taken a while but setting up the team to win the game was the most important thing to me.
“Changing to the Stars has had a massive impact on me. Being in a new environment and being coached under new styles, it’s clearly worked in a good way.”
Find out more about the PCA MVP Rankings and view the men’s and women’s tables.