Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke has thrust himself into contention for a place in the North team for next year’s innovative three-match series against the South in the United Arab Emirates after a productive week in the Royal London One Day Cup.
The top four England-qualified players from each region in this season’s Royal London One Day Cup Professional Cricketers’ Association Most Valuable Player Rankings plus the leading spinner will be selected to play in the North v South matches, with the remaining players chosen by the England selectors who will be thinking about the strategic needs of the England team in the build-up to the next World Cup.
Clarke took five for 26, his best List A figures, to flatten Worcestershire at Edgbaston last Sunday which gave him 44 PCA MVP points. He followed up with two more wickets in the win over Northamptonshire two days later and is now seventh in the Royal London One Day Cup PCA MVP and currently occupying one of the qualifying places for the North team.
In the overall PCA MVP Clarke, who last played for England in a One Day International 10 years ago, has moved into third place on 326 points, 38 behind leader Joe Leach, the Worcestershire all-rounder, and only 11 behind second-placed Ravi Bopara of Essex.
Warwickshire batsman Sam Hain, who becomes England-qualified at the end of this season, is ninth in the Royal London One Day Cup PCA MVP after he followed up 88 in the win over Northamptonshire with 107, his second century in the competition this season, in Wednesday’s defeat by Durham at the South Northumberland club.
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.