Photo Credit: Professional Cricketers’ Association
Gloucestershire player/coach received standing ovation at cinch PCA Awards
- Tom Smith reacts to Outstanding Contribution win at cinch PCA Awards
- Gloucestershire spinner won accolade for dedicated work on critical health insurance policy for PCA members
- Players recognised Smith’s achievements with standing ovation at Troxy awards ceremony
- Smith: “Having all the players standing up and then walking through them was so special.”
Tom Smith has reflected on the honour of receiving the PCA’s Outstanding Contribution Award at the cinch PCA Awards, following an emotional presentation.
The Gloucestershire spinner accepted the accolade after a standing ovation of mutual appreciation, having played a vital role in advocating for funding to support players with critical health insurance.
A personal campaign that has led to all current male and females cricketers now benefiting from his work. He wanted to make his fellow professionals aware of the benefits of appropriate life cover following the death of his wife, Laura in 2018.
The mother of his two young children, Laura, was diagnosed with a rare chronic liver disease and bile-duct cancer and courageously lost her battle after 18 months with the critical illnesses.
Smith bravely told his story to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust in August 2019 where he discussed his tragic family story and revealed the support he had gained. The former Sussex man then turned his story into one of positivity and hope through the will to help others in memory of his late wife.
The cinch PCA Awards then provided a platform to celebrate the 36-year-old who accepted the award, created by the PCA’s Official Trophy Partner Mappin & Webb. PCA Chief Executive Rob Lynch presented the bespoke trophy as the 500 guests rose to their feet to cheer the Gloucestershire player / coach onto the stage.
This followed a video reveal which was prepared without Smith’s knowledge of this honour and you can watch the video and his reception gained at the Troxy.
Smith stayed up countless nights manually entering all members’ personal information into spreadsheets to ensure that everyone was included.
In June 2022, the PCA announced the ground-breaking partnership with health and lifestyle insurer Vitality, which sees domestic male and female players sporting the Vitality logo on their helmets.
The Vitality partnership then enabled the PCA to further invest in insurance provisions for their members in the form of critical health cover.
Smith becomes the second winner of the award, following Andy Brassington’s win last year for his ‘Walkers and Talkers’ mental health discussion group.
On winning the award, Smith said: “That was incredible, I’d love to do it again. Having all the players standing up and then walking through them was so special, for me that’s who I was trying to support.
“Although they were cheering for me to win the award, it was very humbling because that’s who I set out to help. That was my main vision, could I cover all the members of the PCA and we finally got there and to receive the accolade was incredible.
“It was a mutual appreciation, it was the whole journey, I spoke to loads of players and everyone wanted to find a way of getting it in place. Without Vitality’s support and the money we wouldn’t have been able to make it happen but the players were so incredibly supportive and then I guess we saw that when I won the award and everyone gave me a cheer.
“It’s surprising to be the centre of attention because that’s not me as a cricket player, I’m very much in the background. I don’t think I’d won an award before, apart from the PCA Futures Awards last year, so it’s been a good 12 months for me.
“It was such an amazing feeling, that was the reward for those sleepless nights of staying up, data entry, trying to move it forward sending emails, countless video calls, to get to this point and win the award and know that this policy is in place for the next few years is amazing.”
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About the cinch PCA Awards:
The cinch PCA Awards traditionally brings the curtain down on the professional season with the biggest awards ceremony in English cricket. Hundreds of current and former players join key members of the industry to champion the best-performing individuals of the summer while reflecting on those who have given so much to the game.
Covering the full professional game, players are honoured across international, domestic, men’s and women’s cricket, with the awards ceremony taking place at the Troxy, London on Monday 2 October.
Full list of awards to be announced at the cinch PCA Awards:
- cinch PCA Women’s Player of the Year – Tammy Beaumont
- cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year – Harry Brook
- cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year – Mahika Gaur
- cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year – James Rew
- PCA Outstanding Contribution Award – Tom Smith
- Rado Recognition Award – The England Women’s team
- ECB Special Merit – Stuart Broad and Katherine Sciver-Brunt
- PCA Umpire of the Year – Men’s Game – Michael Gough
- PCA Umpire of the Year – Women’s Game – Anna Harris
List of awards to be recognised at the cinch PCA Awards
- PCA Women’s Overall Domestic MVP – Georgia Adams
- PCA Men’s Overall Domestic MVP – Liam Dawson
- IG PCA Men’s Team of the Year – Daniel Bell-Drummond, Alex Lees, James Vince, Joe Clarke, James Rew (WK), Ryan Higgins, Liam Dawson ©, Simon Harmer, Dan Worrall, Matt Henry, Sam Cook.
- Metro Bank PCA Women’s Team of the Year – Tammy Beaumont, Lauren Winfield-Hill (WK), Bryony Smith, Georgia Adams ©, Nat Sciver-Brunt, Maia Bouchier, Paige Scholfield, Linsey Smith, Katie Levick, Grace Ballinger, Lauren Bell.
- Metro Bank ODI Men’s Player of the Summer – Dawid Malan
- Metro Bank ODI Women’s Player of the Summer – Nat Sciver-Brunt
- LV= Insurance Test Player of the Summer – Joe Root
- Vitality IT20 Men’s Player of the Summer – Jonny Bairstow
- Vitality IT20 Women’s Player of the Summer – Alice Capsey
- Vitality Blast Player of the Year – Daniel Sams
- Charlotte Edwards Cup Player of the Year – Georgia Adams
- Metro Bank One Day Cup Player of the Year – Ed Barnard
- Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Player of the Year – Georgia Adams
- LV= Insurance County Championship Player of the Year – Liam Dawson
- The Hundred Men’s PCA MVP of the Year – Jamie Overton
- The Hundred Women’s PCA MVP of the Year – Marizanne Kapp