The shortlists for the 2021 cinch PCA Awards, including for the first ever cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year award, have been announced with 14 of the season’s outstanding performers across the international and domestic game recognised.
Following the introduction of 41 new female members to the PCA, the cinch PCA Women’s Player of the Year award has been opened up to include domestic players for the very first time. The shortlisted candidates are evenly split between international and domestic cricket, with Sophia Dunkley, Danielle Gibson, Eve Jones and Nat Sciver all in contention for the award.
The first cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year award sees Alice Capsey shortlisted at just 17 years of age, an outstanding achievement in itself given she is yet to sign her first professional contract. Capsey is up for the award alongside Charlie Dean and Dunkley, who is the only player nominated for two of the main cinch PCA awards this season.
In the absence of an in-person event, the cinch PCA Awards are being announced virtually throughout the final stages of the 2021 domestic season, with a number of the competition award winners having already been revealed.
Tuesday 28 September will see the finale of the cinch PCA Awards with the four headline award winners being announced live on Sky Sports during lunch on the opening day of the Bob Willis Trophy final.
cinch PCA Women’s Player of the Year – Shortlist
Sophia Dunkley (England/South East Stars/Southern Brave)
Dunkley has established herself as one of the stars of both the international and domestic game during the past two seasons, so much so that it’s easy to forget she is still only 23 and has her best years ahead of her.
The batting all-rounder’s excellent form in domestic competition – and The Hundred in particular – led to a first Test appearance against India in June, followed by her ODI debut just 11 days later. Dunkley has immediately looked at home in both formats, starring with an unbeaten 74 during the one-off Test Match before going on to score 101 runs in the three-match ODI series, the second highest figure for an English player behind teammate Sciver (142).
Danielle Gibson (London Spirit/Western Storm)
Consistency has been key for Gibson throughout a season during which she has excelled in each of the Charlotte Edwards Cup, The Hundred and the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.
In her 21 appearances across the three competitions, Gibson has amassed over 250 cumulative runs, averaging 36 and with a strike rate of 180 in The Hundred, as well as 13 wickets including seven at an average of just 15.3 in the Charlotte Edwards Cup. Gibson’s all-round talents are illustrated by the fact that she has scored 37 fielding MVP points in the PCA MVP Rankings – the second most of any outfielder in the women’s domestic game.
Eve Jones (Birmingham Phoenix/Central Sparks)
No matter the competition or format, Jones has guaranteed runs for both Birmingham Phoenix and Central Sparks throughout the 2021 season. Equally adept at opening up for Sparks or batting slightly further down the order for Phoenix, the 29-year-old has made almost 800 runs across all competitions, averaging 55.2, 48.3 and 29.1 in the Charlotte Edwards Cup, the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and The Hundred respectively.
Jones’ individual highlight was an unbeaten century made against Thunder in the 50-over competition as she carried her bat throughout the entire innings, and she also made three consecutive 50+ scores in the latter half of the Charlotte Edwards Cup group stage, being named MVP of the Match on each occasion. Jones’ efforts were recognised by the fans as she was voted the PCA Women’s Player of the Month for two consecutive months in July and August.
Nat Sciver (England/Northern Diamonds/Trent Rockets)
Arguably England’s most important player across all formats, Sciver has once again proved why she is one of the world’s most talented all-rounders during the 2021 season.
Sciver has consistently produced in all formats, across both the international and domestic stage, during a mammoth season which has seen her score over 550 runs and take 18 wickets in 23 appearances, with ODI fixtures against New Zealand still to come. Sciver has already been recognised at the cinch PCA Awards with the Vitality IT20 Player of the Summer, and she will be looking to repeat her feat that she achieved in 2017 in winning the main player-voted women’s award.
cinch PCA Women’s Young Player of the Year – Shortlist
Alice Capsey (Oval Invincibles/South East Stars)
At just 17 years of age, Capsey is the youngest player shortlisted for any of the main four cinch PCA Awards this season.
The bowling all-rounder has enjoyed a sensational breakthrough season for both South East Stars and Oval Invincibles, helping the latter all the way to victory at Lord’s in the first edition of The Hundred. In that tournament, Capsey took 10 wickets in just 135 balls, whilst also bowling with an economy of just 4.52 – the fourth best figure in the competition despite often bowling at the top of the innings. With the bat in hand, Capsey has done particularly well in the Charlotte Edwards Cup where she accumulated 203 runs at an average of 40.6.
Charlie Dean (England/London Spirit/Southern Vipers)
A dream season for 20-year-old Dean culminated with her recent debut for England and subsequently her first wickets at international level during the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand.
Dean earned her call-up by regularly being a thorn in the side of batting line-ups across all three domestic women’s competitions this season. The off-spinner has taken a combined 23 wickets in domestic T20 and List A cricket in 2021, notably returning figures of 5-19 against Central Sparks in the Charlotte Edwards Cup – her first five-fer at senior level.
Sophia Dunkley (England/South East Stars/Southern Brave)
Dunkley has been one of the stars of a huge year for women’s cricket which saw the introduction of 41 female domestic pros into the PCA as well as the establishment of two new competitions: The Hundred and the Charlotte Edwards Cup.
The all-rounder has played in all 12 of England’s games this summer to date and was the sixth highest ranked English player in the women’s Hundred MVP. Her impressive performances in the debut tournament saw her score 244 runs at 40.7 as Southern Brave went all the way to the Lord’s final. Dunkley also made 196 runs in her three Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy appearances, including 104 not out against Sunrisers – her third List A century.