Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
South East Stars and Nottinghamshire standouts win May’s PCA Player of the Month awards.
Phoebe Franklin of the South East Stars and Nottinghamshire’s Matthew Montgomery have been voted PCA Players of the Month for May after each producing a blistering run of form in domestic cricket.
The pair were shortlisted through the PCA’s Most Valuable Player Rankings for their performances in the month of May as the top four players according to the unique algorithm in the men’s and women’s game faced a public vote to decide the winner.
Franklin, with 39% of the fan vote, becomes the second Stars player to win the coveted trophy this season, following Paige Scholfield’s success in April. The all-rounder won a closely contested poll ahead of Western Storm’s Danielle Gibson who received 24%, with Franklin’s captain Bryony Smith and Thunder’s Emma Lamb third and fourth respectively.
In the men’s category, Montgomery secured 41% of the vote, ahead of Somerset’s Craig Overton with 23% while Surrey’s Sean Abbott was third and Hampshire captain James Vince in fourth. The 23-year-old joins Ryan Higgins in winning a Player of the Month trophy following the Middlesex’s man outstanding start to the season in April.
Franklin voted May’s standout player
Franklin had a month to remember which included scoring her maiden professional half-century, picking up two Match MVP accolades and now crowned the best performer in the women’s domestic game.
The all-rounder scored 187 runs at an average of 26.7 and was equally impressive with the ball, averaging 20.3 runs for each of her eight wickets in May.
Creating headlines in both the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and Charlotte Edwards Cup, Franklin’s standout efforts saw her produce figures of 3-18 to help dismiss Sunrisers for 64 and hitting 53 off 43 and taking 1-19 against The Blaze.
The 25-year-old received her award on field ahead of the Stars final 20-over game of the campaign on Wednesday and explained her joy upon receiving the trophy.
“I would say my favourite performance of May was between two,” said Franklin.
“We played Sunrisers at Radlett in a reduced overs game and I was pretty happy with how I performed with the bat and to be able to get a few wickets early on to set the team up for the win which was enjoyable. Then the T20 game against The Blaze, unfortunately we ended up on the losing side, but I did score my first professional 50, which was pleasing.
“I was really happy when I got told I had won the PCA Player of the Month as I was up against three nominees who also had a really good month so to be awarded this means a lot.
“With most of May being T20s, I feel like I’ve put in performances with bat and ball to help contribute to some team wins and some unfortunate close losses but personally I am pleased with how I am going this season.
“When 50-over cricket comes back around next month we’re going to hopefully chase that trophy down. Before then we will have a little bit of time-off skills-wise but it’s definitely a time to recharge and hit the second period of the season the best we can.”
Montgomery wins maiden PCA Player of the Month
Shortlisted for earning an impressive 122 MVP points in May, Matthew Montgomery was the supporters choice to win the award.
Montgomery, who celebrated his 23rd birthday during the month, scored a brilliant 398 runs during May, averaging 44.2 alongside taking two wickets.
Against Essex, he won a Match MVP award and 48 MVP points for a striking innings of 177 which included 26 boundaries.
In total, the South African born batter scored 272 runs in May’s LV= Insurance County Championship games alongside 126 runs in the Vitality Blast, impressing in the latter with 51 off 29 balls including six fours and a six and figures of 1-5 against Derbyshire in a four-wicket win for the Outlaws.
“I am quite surprised to be honest and very grateful,” said Montgomery. “It’s really nice that people have voted for me and it wasn’t something that was on my radar, I was just chuffed to be nominated and that was a surprise at first.
“It was a good month for me, starting in the Essex four-day game that went really nicely and I was chuffed with that. Then it was a quick turnaround to T20 cricket with not much time to think about it, I made my debut and I managed to continue my momentum from that Essex game, it all happened quickly.
“We have a strong squad and the club is in a good place. I am loving the environment, it is competitive and it’s something that’s making me want to get better and I’m learning off some really good players so I’m happy with where the club is at and where I am fitting in.
“We have always been quite clear with whatever competition we enter we are looking to win. Our way about achieving that is taking things one game at a time because we know we are good enough to compete in all competitions so we take it step by step.”