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Ben Stokes Nominated for NatWest PCA Players' Player of the Year

Ben Stokes Nominated for NatWest PCA Players' Player of the Year
Ben Stokes Nominated for NatWest PCA Players' Player of the Year

England all-rounder Ben Stokes will get the opportunity to cap a memorable summer with one of cricket's most prestigious individual awards after he was nominated for the NatWest PCA Players’ Player of the Year.

Stokes was the only player from England's successful men's World Cup-winning team to be included in the four-man shortlist for the award, which will be presented at the traditional end-of-season awards night in London next Wednesday.

Essex spinner Simon Harmer is also in contention after he was named the PCA Most Valuable Player immediately after his county completed their double-winning campaign by lifting the Specsavers County Championship trophy at Taunton on Thursday.

Harmer was the first division’s leading wicket-taker, with 83, while the South African also captained the Eagles to their maiden Vitality Blast title.

The short-list is competed by Warwickshire opener Dominic Sibley, who this week earned a first England Test call-up for the upcoming New Zealand tour, and all-rounder Ryan Higgins who played a key role in Gloucestershire's promotion.

Stokes captured the attention of the nation as the central character in England historic first men’s World Cup title following a breathless final against New Zealand at Lord’s on July 14.

The 28-year-old then masterminded one of the most unlikely comebacks in Test history during the Ashes, crashing an unbeaten 135 and dominating a 76-run last-wicket with Jack Leach to claim victory at Emerald Headingley.

Stokes won the PCA Young Player of the Year in 2013 - an award Sibley has also been nominated for after he scored the most runs in Division One of the County Championship with 1324 at an average of 69.7.

Sibley could become the first man to win both the Players’ Player and Young Player of the Year in the same season – after Ben Duckett in 2016 – after being nominated for the John Arlott Cup alongside Tom Banton (Somerset), Zak Crawley (Kent) and James Bracey (Gloucestershire).

Crawley this week also earned his first England call for the New Zealand Test series while Banton has been included in the Twenty20 squad.

Slow left-arm bowler Sophie Ecclestone is in line to win back-to-back NatWest Women’s Player of the Summer awards after she was nominated alongside all-rounder Katherine Brunt and batter Amy Jones.

Ecclestone was England’s top wicket-taker in both the West Indies series and the Women’s Ashes.

The NatWest PCA Awards is the most prestigious awards ceremony in English cricket with all three main accolades voted for by current professional players. This year sees the Association celebrate its 50th annual awards.

All proceeds from the night will be donated to the Professional Cricketers’ Trust.

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