Yorkshire and South East Stars players take May awards due to fine form
• Most Valuable Player Rankings and supporters combine to select May winners
• Harry Brook wins award to mount pressure on England selection
• Aylish Cranstone’s winter woes to unprecedented start to season
Yorkshire’s Harry Brook and South East Stars’ Aylish Cranstone have won the PCA Player of the Month vote for May after a string of match winning performances.
Brook was identified by the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings as the top performing player in the county game throughout the month, and he subsequently won the June award with 60% of the public vote. The 23-year-old came ahead of roses rival Keaton Jennings who received 28% of the vote with Jack Haynes and Toby Roland-Jones also on the shortlist.
Cranstone had an incredible run of form to start 2022, winning three of the first four Match MVP awards and the public voted in their numbers, taking 48% of the final vote. England batter Danni Wyatt came second with 19%, narrowly ahead of Amy Jones and Emma Lamb who completed the shortlist as selected by the MVP.
Brook voted best player in May
Brook was a deserved winner of the May Player of the Month, leading the way in the statistics and popularity with supporters, gaining well over half of the public vote.
The 2021 cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year gained 132 MVP points in May, following up from 109 points in April where he was also nominated for the award.
The 23-year-old earned a call up to the England Test squad following 840 first-class runs in the first two months of the LV= Insurance County Championship at an average of 140, including a career best 194 against Kent in April.
His good form has continued into the Vitality Blast scoring 161 runs in three innings, including 72 in a tied Roses derby.
Brook joins Derbyshire’s Shan Masood in being presented with a PCA Player of the Month trophy after the Pakistani batter won in April. The England hopeful also won this award in June 2021 to underline his talent and support from the public.
“I’m very happy to get my hands on the Player of the Month trophy and thank you to everyone who has voted for me and long may the runs continue,” said Brook.
“I’m happy to be contributing to as many games as possible and scoring runs for Yorkshire.
“Hopefully I get an opportunity to play for England at some point, whether it’s next week, next month or in two years’ time I’ll still be very happy and honoured to be playing for my country. Certainly whenever it comes I’ll give it my all.”
The Yorkshireman has shown great promise for a number of years, including captaining England Under 19s in 2018 where he scored 239 runs at an average of 119.5. Following his successful cinch PCA Awards last September, he represented England Lions, Hobart Hurricanes and Lahore Qalandars over the winter and made his international T20 debut for England.
With Test cricket a priority for Brook, he has worked hard on stringing consecutive performances together in the county game to catapult him into Ben Stokes’ England side. He feels improvements to concentration levels have made a big difference to him in 2022.
“Consistency is something I’ve worked on, not just a technical thing but a mental thing as well and just trying to score as many runs for whoever I’m playing for and trying to take one ball at a time and stay in the moment for as long as possible.
“Everybody thinks about England and trying to play for your country but I’ve been trying not to think about it too much, I’ve just tried to concentrate on being a match winner for Yorkshire.”
Cranstone picks up women’s award
May was a productive month for Cranstone with the top-order batter hitting the most runs in the Charlotte Edwards Cup across the month, scoring 199 runs and picking up 71 points on the MVP table.
The 27-year-old ended the month narrowly behind Jones according to the MVP statistics but picked up 30% more of the public vote thanks in part to her May Match MVP record.
The 2021 champions of the T20 competition, South East Stars had a strong start to their defence with Cranstone leading the way. The domestic women’s season started on 14 May with the left-hander hitting an unbeaten 56 against Sunrisers, the first of three not outs that saw her end the month with an incredible average of 199 per dismissal. However, she was up against strong opposition in the vote and was delighted to secure her first silverware of the year.
“I’m so pleased because I was up against some pretty tough opposition especially with two of the top England girls there and I know Emma Lamb won a couple of times last year. It’s nice that people that I don’t even know are recognising my performances.
“It’s so nice to be recognised, I’ve been messaging my mum and dad it’s something that I think coming into this season I didn’t think was possible and it’s been so unexpected. I’m really proud to achieve something that I thought maybe a couple of months ago wasn’t at all possible.”
The Surrey captain is referring to one of her most difficult winters on record. After a disappointing Charlotte Edwards Cup campaign in 2021 by her own admission, her winter was wrecked by complications with a wrist injury with constant setbacks until the verge of the season.
“I had to have surgery on my wrist in November which pretty much wiped out the whole of the winter,” said Cranstone.
“I’ve actually got a plate in my forearm and nine screws, they actually had to take out some of my ulna bone in my arm because it was infecting me.
“I was hoping to get back by February but I wasn’t really ready until April and managed to get on the pre-season tour to Desert Springs but I only really had a few training sessions before the season started.
“Going in with a fresh mindset and not putting so much pressure on myself like I normally would has really helped and going out with a positive mindset especially in T20 and just go for it with nothing to lose and everyone backing me it’s been really great that it’s come off.”
Find out more about the PCA MVP Rankings and view the men’s and women’s tables on the PCA website