Joe Root, Eve Jones, Harry Brook and Alice Capsey are the winners of the four main prizes at the 2021 cinch PCA Awards.
England captain Root has rounded off his outstanding summer, which included hundreds in three successive Test Matches against India, by winning the cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year.
Central Sparks skipper Jones has made history to become the first female domestic professional to win one of the main cinch PCA Awards as she picked up the cinch PCA Women’s Player of the Year.
Root’s Yorkshire teammate Brook has seen his brilliant form – particularly in the Vitality Blast and The Hundred – recognised as he has been named the cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Capsey has entered the record books as the first winner of the cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year award, capping a meteoric rise in 2021 despite not yet being a full-time professional cricketer or PCA member. The all-rounder has made further history, becoming the youngest ever winner of one of the PCA’s player-voted awards.
The coveted prizes are voted for by the players’ fellow professionals, and this year the main winners at the 52nd edition of the cinch PCA Awards were announced live on Sky Sports during day one of the Bob Willis Trophy final.
Root has led by example throughout a Test summer which saw him score 661 runs at an average of 66.1, a return which enabled him to claim a first cinch PCA Award as the LV= Insurance Test Player of the Summer. His summer form came off the back of an exceptional winter tour of the subcontinent which saw Root make three scores of 150+ in successive Tests, illustrating the batter’s ability in all conditions.
The 30-year-old adds a second player-voted cinch PCA Award to his collection, having been named Men’s Young Player of the Year in 2012, and he is only the seventh individual to win both of the men’s prizes. He is also the third Yorkshire player to win the main men’s award at the cinch PCA Awards, following in the footsteps of his boyhood idol Michael Vaughan and Adam Lyth.
This year, he has succeeded Chris Woakes in winning the award by beating fellow shortlisted candidates in Durham’s David Bedingham, Luke Fletcher of Nottinghamshire and Essex’s Simon Harmer to the prize.
cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year, Root, said: “I’m very proud to receive the cinch PCA Men’s Player of the Year award. It means a huge amount to be recognised by your fellow professionals. You spend a lot of time playing alongside them and for them to vote for me is really quite humbling. A lot of my heroes when I was growing up are on that trophy so I’m chuffed to be alongside them.
“I’ve been in good touch and had a good understanding of how I wanted to score my runs this year. There have been some really close games and it’s been very enjoyable. I’ve scored runs against the best teams in the world so that has given me confidence, even as an experienced player.
“Ultimately, it’s about winning for England and putting in performances that will win you Test Matches. That’s the best feeling – when you walk off the pitch knowing you’ve put in a performance that has won your side the game. You want to replicate that and it really acts as a driving force.”
Brook is the seventh Yorkshire player to win the cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year award, and he follows in the footsteps of established names to win the trophy including Root, Ben Stokes and last year’s recipient, Zak Crawley.
A brilliant breakthrough season of consistency has seen Brook cement his place at the heart of Yorkshire’s batting order in all formats, and he excelled in the Vitality Blast in particular, finishing as the competition’s fourth highest run-scorer with 486 at an average of 69.4. He also ended with the second highest average (minimum three innings) in The Hundred with 47.3 and finished in the top 10 run-scorers in the competition, despite only having five innings.
The 22-year-old has beaten fellow shortlisted candidates Sam Cook of Essex and Sussex’s Tom Haines to the award.
cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year, Brook said: “It’s really nice to have received the most votes to win the cinch PCA Men’s Young Player of the Year – I’m really happy with the award. It’s always great playing in front of a packed crowd at Headingley, and The Hundred was awesome as well. I can’t wait to keep doing it for years to come.
“I really look up to the likes of Joe Root. You can learn so much from such a good player, and you try to take parts of their game and put it into yours. Often I’ll pick the best players from around the world and try to put parts of their game into mine.
“The Hundred has given me the opportunity to play alongside the likes of Ben Stokes and Chris Lynn, who were both with Northern Superchargers. When you’re around players like that you can learn so much, and playing against the best players on the biggest stage gets you used to that pressure.
“The best players back it up year after year and hopefully I can do that. There’s still things to work on in my game and there’s a big winter coming up where I can try to become better and better.”