Warwickshire and England all-rounder Chris Woakes and Central Sparks and England leg-spinner 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.
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.Chris Woakes
“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.
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.”Sarah Glenn