England stars Chris Woakes and Sarah Glenn have been crowned as the NatWest PCA Men’s and NatWest PCA Women’s Player of the Year Award winners respectively.
Woakes claimed the Reg Hayter Cup for the first time following another consistently excellent summer, highlighted by his match-winning unbeaten 84 against Pakistan in the first Test at Emirates Old Trafford.
Glenn’s success follows a breakthrough year for the England leg-spinner after only making her international debut last December. The 21-year-old was also this week named as the Player of the Series during England’s 5-0 Vitality IT20 Series sweep over West Indies in her home city of Derby.
The Vitality PCA Young Player of the Year has been won by Zak Crawley following a rookie England season in which the 22-year-old underlined his growing reputation with a double century against Pakistan in the third Test at The Ageas Bowl.
The coveted awards are voted on by the players’ fellow professionals and, while the global pandemic prevented the usual pomp and ceremony for the 51st NatWest PCA Awards, this summer’s honours were given added significance by the inclusion of the NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards (OSCAs).
The NatWest OSCAs, which were established in 2003, highlight the valuable efforts of volunteers who have gone above and beyond to connect clubs with their communities during a challenging summer for the recreational game.
Woakes attended last year’s NatWest OSCAs, when he revealed his thanks for the vital role volunteers have played in his career and across the cricket network, and will be a popular winner of the top men’s award this season ahead of Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer, Somerset speedster Craig Overton and Crawley who were shortlisted nominees.
Chris Woakes said: “I’m obviously delighted to win the NatWest PCA Men’s Player of the Year award, even though the news came as a bit of a shock!
“I feel honoured and privileged to have had that recognition from my fellow professionals. Obviously some great players have won it so to be amongst them is a brilliant feeling.
“It’s a credit to everyone that we have had a full international schedule given what’s happened with the Covid-19 pandemic, so I’m really pleased with how my own performance went and obviously the team’s as well, to win the majority of our series.
“The big highlight for me of the summer was that Test Match against Pakistan, to win from where we were was just incredible. That was a knock and a partnership that I’ll treasure forever.”
Glenn’s success underlined the next wave of young women’s talent emerging within England and Wales as she claimed the award ahead of her England captain Heather Knight and all-rounder Nat Sciver. Fellow spinner, Sophie Ecclestone, had won the award for the past two years.
Sarah Glenn said: “It’s an honour to win the NatWest PCA Women’s Player of the Year award. It’s pretty special that it was voted for by the girls, knowing that they’ve got my back. To know that I’ve won it and deserved it is very special.
“It’s taken me by surprise as well how quickly things have escalated. I have loved every moment of it and tried not to look too far ahead in every game. Anything I’ve been unsure about I’ve just asked the girls so credit to them as well.”
Crawley made his England debut on the tour of New Zealand last November and claims the John Arlott Cup in the same week it was confirmed he had been awarded a Test Central Contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
The 22-year-old edged out fellow nominees Will Jacks, who has starred in Surrey’s run to Finals Day, and Somerset left-hander Tom Lammonby after he struck three centuries during the Bob Willis Trophy.
Zak Crawley said: “It’s great to be picked by your peers, so winning the Vitality PCA Young Player of the Year means a lot to me and I’m very proud. There’s so many great names on the trophy already, so it’s very special.
“To score 200 in a Test Match - I didn’t think I was capable of it, so it was just a great moment for me. It’s been great to come back to Kent and play so well too - the hundred at Hampshire was very special and hopefully it shows my ability in all formats.”
While recognising the best performing individuals across the professional and grassroots game, today also saw the cricket family come together to raise funds for the players’ charity, the Professional Cricketers’ Trust. The charity supports PCA members and their family members when they need it most.
PCA Interim Chief Executive, Rob Lynch, said: “I would like to offer my warmest congratulations to the three main award winners at the inaugural NatWest Cricket Awards, as well as all of those PCA members who received recognition for their achievements on the field this summer.
“Under the circumstances, your on-field performances this year have been nothing short of exceptional during a season when it looked like we may not see any cricket at all. Some exceptionally hard work has gone on behind-the-scenes to allow cricket to be played and on behalf of the players, I would like to sincerely thank the ECB for enabling this.
“I’d also like to thank NatWest for their ongoing support throughout what has been an incredibly challenging period. It has been brilliant to be able to celebrate all aspects of cricket from grassroots right through to the individual achievements of our members in 2020.
“I wish all our members the best and I hope you enjoy a well-earned rest this winter before we look forward to the return of cricket in England and Wales in 2021.”
NatWest has been a proud sponsor of Cricketing Communities in England and Wales for 39 years and its sponsorship of cricket starts from the ground up, from community club cricket grounds to the pinnacle of the professional game. This year’s NatWest Cricket Awards have ensured heroes from the recreational game are honoured alongside the international stars.
The stories of the three NatWest OSCAs winners have been captured in heart-warming videos to be broadcast during Sky Sports’ coverage of Vitality Blast Finals Day this weekend.
Jamie Saunders won the NatWest Connecting Communities Award on behalf of Isleham Cricket Club in Cambridgeshire.
The club set up a volunteer group of more than 100 people to help the elderly and vulnerable during lockdown delivering up to 300 fruit and vegetable boxes a week. An unused telephone box was used as a community pantry while iPads were donated to those with family members in hospital so they could stay in touch.
County Councillor, Mark Goldsach, said:“It was all about what was needed to help the most vulnerable in the village. It’s just exploded into a whole plethora of services that has been an absolute life’s pleasure to be involved with. It has really bought the community together.”
The NatWest Proactive Leadership Within The Community Award was won by Macclesfeld Cricket Club third team captain Miles Horner who set up a club podcast to keep the club entertained and became so popular it has been listened to in 14 different countries.
Over Cricket Club chair Jane Reeson is the heartbeat of the Cambridgeshire club and was a worthy recipient of the #RaisetheBat Award after spending long hours every day working with the community and helping to organise the club during the enforced hiatus after she had been furloughed.
ECB Director of Participation and Growth, Nick Pryde, said: “In this most difficult of summers the community spirit of our cricket clubs across England and Wales has shone through and provided another reminder of the importance our game can play in the lives of so many people.
“This year’s NatWest Outstanding Service to Cricket Awards showcase the very best of our game and the lengths people will go to in a time of crisis. I want to join in the rest of the cricket community in conveying my utmost thanks to all volunteers who have gone above and beyond this summer and to thank you all for your considerable efforts.”
The NatWest OSCAs were established in 2003 to reward the valued contribution of volunteers to cricket as a part of the ECB’s programme, which gives cricket clubs advice on educating, recruiting and rewarding volunteers.
Martyn Wilson, Head of Sponsorship at NatWest Group, commented: “In recognition of an extraordinary year for the sport, we’re delighted to be honouring today both the community club heroes and the professional stars who have made this season so special as part of the first NatWest Cricket Awards. We want to congratulate all the winners for their contribution to the sport and the cricketing community.”
To find out more about NatWest’s involvement in cricket at all levels of the game, head to: natwest.com/cricket
Full list of NatWest Cricket Award winners
- NatWest PCA Men’s Player of the Year – Chris Woakes (England / Warwickshire)
- NatWest PCA Women’s Player of the Year – Sarah Glenn (England Women)
- Vitality PCA Young Player of the Year – Zak Crawley (England / Kent)
- Test Player of the Summer – Stuart Broad
- Royal London ODI Player of the Summer – David Willey
- Vitality IT20 Player of the Summer – Dawid Malan
- Bob Willis Trophy Player of the Year – Craig Overton (Somerset)
- Vitality Blast Player of the Year - tbc
- Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Player of the Year – Georgia Adams (Southern Vipers)
- Greene King Team of the Year – Alastair Cook (Essex), Jake Libby (Worcestershire), Tom Lammonby (Somerset), Ben Duckett (Nottinghamshire), Will Jacks (Surrey), Chris Cooke (Glamorgan) [wk], Ryan Higgins (Gloucestershire), Craig Overton (Somerset), Simon Harmer (Essex) [c], Josh Davey (Somerset)
- ECB Special Award – Prof Dr Nick Peirce (ECB)
- #Raisethebat Award – Jane Reeson (Over CC, Cambridgeshire)
- Connecting Communities Award – Jamie Saunders (Isleham CC, Cambridgeshire)
- Proactive Leadership Award – Miles Horner (Macclesfield CC, Cheshire)