A return to red ball cricket has seen Warwickshire all-rounder Keith Barker move to the top of the Professional Cricketers’ Association Most Valuable Player Rankings in the Specsavers County Championship.

Barker has yet to play for Warwickshire in this season’s NatWest T20 Blast and an injury kept him out of their early matches in the Royal London One Day Cup.

But Barker returned to fitness in time for this week’s drawn championship match where he claimed 32 MVP points to overtake Lancashire seamer Kyle Jarvis as leader in the championship rankings.

Barker earned 24 points for scoring 64 out of Warwickshire’s first innings 263, more than 24 per cent of their runs, and he also took five wickets in the match, three of them in Lancashire’s top four.

In addition to going top of the championship rankings, Barker also moved into tenth place in the overall PCA MVP, one point behind Durham opening batsman Keaton Jennings.

The PCA MVP was introduced in 2007 and is designed by the players to find the cricketers who really win matches by combining all aspects of a player’s performance to give a ranking in relation to his peers.

The revised MVP formula gives full credit to those players whose performances improve their team’s chances of winning.  Points are accrued for all runs scored and wickets taken; these are then adjusted within the context of the match to take into account strike rates and economy rates.

Runs gain more points if they are scored quickly or in low-scoring contests.  Top order wickets taken at the start of the innings are judged more valuable than those that fall later, and bowlers who bowl their overs cheaply (in the context of the match) are given due reward for doing so.

The weightings in the revised formula have been scaled so as to provide continuity with previous seasons, ensuring that the value of an MVP point this year is equivalent to those allocated under previous formulae.

The PCA MVP leader board can be viewed here: http://www.thepca.co.uk/county-mvp.html