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COMPETITION HOTS UP FOR NORTH v SOUTH PLACES

 


There are just two rounds of matches left in this season’s Royal London One Day Cup to secure places in next year’s new North v South series in the United Arab Emirates.

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.

The group stage of the competition is now nearing its conclusion and players will be competing for places in the UAE as well as quarter-final slots over the next four days.

Harry Gurney, the Nottinghamshire left-arm seamer, and Graeme White, the Northamptonshire slow left-armer, are the highest-ranked England-qualified player in the Royal London One Day Cup PCA MVP Rankings, both on 108 points, seven behind Glamorgan’s South African all-rounder Colin Ingram, the current leader, who is not eligible for the North v South series.

Warwickshire all-rounder Rikki Clarke, who took a List A-best five for 26 against Worcestershire in the Royal London One Day Cup last week, has moved into contention for a place in the North side in seventh place in the rankings on 85 points, one ahead of Nottinghamshire opener Michael Lumb. Clarke is third in this season’s overall PCA MVP.

Somerset all-rounder Lewis Gregory, who made a half century in against Middlesex on Tuesday, leads the challenge from the South.

Gregory is now fourth in the Royal London One Day Cup PCA MVP on 97 points, one ahead of Hampshire all-rounder Liam Dawson, who has been in excellent form in all formats this season. Dawson is fourth in the overall PCA MVP on 321 points, 43 behind Worcestershire all-rounder Joe Leach, the leader.

With Essex’s former New Zealand all-rounder Jesse Ryder, who is sixth in the Royal London One Day Cup PCA MVP, ineligible for the North v South series the next highest-ranked players in the South Group are outside the top 10.

Kent all-rounder Matt Coles climbed to 12th place by taking six for 56 to set up victory over Hampshire, his former county, on Tuesday.

Sussex all-rounder Chris Jordan, who has already played Test and One Day International cricket for England, and Gloucestershire all-rounder Benny Howell are vying for the fourth place in the South side, level on PCA MVP points on 71 each.

White is the highest ranked spinner in the North with Surrey captain and off-spinner Gareth Batty, who played seven Tests between 2003 and 2005, the leading spinner in the South in 28th place in the rankings on 61 points.

The PCA and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s High Performance Centre at Loughborough have worked closely to enhance the PCA MVP formula which was first introduced in 2007.

The PCA MVP Rankings identifies the match-winners and key influencers of matches by using a formula that measures each player’s total contribution by taking into account conditions, quality of opposition, captaincy, strike rates as well as runs scored and wickets taken.

 

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