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Van Jaarsveld picks up PCA gong

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Martin van Jaarsveld

Martin van Jaarsveld had a sterling season and fully deserves the PCA award

Kent batsman Martin van Jaarsveld tonight pipped a trio of Englishmen to claim the NatWest PCA player of the year award.

The South African overcame competition from Marcus Trescothick, Steve Harmison and Ravi Bopara to receive the much-coveted award at a ceremony in central London.

It is the second year in succession a veteran from overseas has picked up the Professional Cricketers’ Association top prize, voted for by the players themselves, following Ottis Gibson in 2007.

Despite Kent being relegated from the top flight of the County Championship for the first time since it was split into two divisions, van Jaarsveld has enjoyed a prolific season, hitting 1150 runs, and also thriving in the other domestic competitions.

The 34-year-old also dominated the Friends Provident Trophy with an awesome 660 runs, including four hundreds, in just nine visits to the crease.

Essex’s Bopara, left out of England’s Test tour of India earlier today, added the NatWest PCA young player of the year award to the Young Cricketer of the Year gong he picked up earlier this month.

Bopara hit an unbeaten 201 in a Friends Provident Trophy contest against Leicestershire at Grace Road and continues to excel with bat and ball at county level.

Previous winners of the main award include Michael Vaughan, Andrew Flintoff, Mark Ramprakash and Trescothick.