Steven Croft has capped an impressive month by winning the July award for the top performing player in the FTI Most Valuable Player rankings.
The 27-year-old all-rounder held off stiff competition from Worcestershire’s Moeen Ali to top the table by ten points.
He began the month with a number of blistering performances in the Friends Life t20, including a quick-fire 48 against Derbyshire, that earned him a call-up to England’s 30-man provisional squad for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.
His contribution in the LV= County Championship included an unbeaten 154 against Surrey and match figures of 9/105 against Worcestershire, whilst in the CB40 he made almost half his county’s runs against Middlesex before hitting 57* against Leicestershire.
After watching the Red Rose go top of their CB40 group with two games in hand following victory over Gloucestershire, he now hopes his efforts with both the bat and ball can propel them towards their first Lord’s final since 2006.
He said: “It’s been a good month for both Lancashire and me after a fairly difficult start to the season and I’m delighted to pick up the FTI MVP.
“It was great to be called up to the provisional England squad and this award is too, particularly as it judges you against your fellow professionals.
“I’ve felt in good nick and am delighted I’ve been able to contribute, particularly in the CB40 where we’re very well-placed to make the knock-out stages.
“Our aim now is to secure our First Division status as a matter of priority and do as well as we can in the CB40. It would be great to get to Lord’s and I am hopeful we’ll perform well enough to do so in the coming weeks.”
As well as topping the monthly table, Croft also sits astride the overall leader board. He is five points clear of Peter Trego and has more batting points than anyone else in the top 10.
Now in their sixth season, the rankings reward players for every run scored, every wicket taken and every catch held. There are also bonuses awarded to those whose runs and wickets contribute to a win for the team, with captains earning points for their command of the side.
Bowlers receive higher marks for among other things good economy rates, bowling maidens and for dismissing batsmen higher up the order. There are also bonuses for five or more dismissals in an innings.
In addition, batting points are handed out for high run rates and the percentage of the team’s runs each batsman contributes. Fielding points are awarded for catches, run outs and stumpings.
Kieron Smith, Senior Vice President, FTI Consulting said: “Congratulations to Steven Croft for an outstanding effort in July. His performances have not only led to him getting recognition from the England selectors but put Lancashire in with a good chance of reaching the CB40 final.”
Photo: Steven Croft receives his award from Head Coach Peter Moores before the start of play at Liverpool (c) Simon Pendrigh