Linsey Smith has been voted the PCA Player of the Month for September.
A busy September for Smith saw her reach the final of both the Charlotte Edwards Cup and the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy with Northern Diamonds, and the left-arm spinner consistently took wickets in both competitions to be voted your final women’s PCA Player of the Month of 2021.
Smith joins her namesake Bryony Smith (June) and Eve Jones (July, August) in having picked up a women’s PCA Player of the Month award during the first season in which they have been up for grabs.
It is a deserved win for Smith, who was nominated for a second time in succession after also being in contention for the award in August: “It’s a great feeling. A pleasant surprise which I wasn’t expecting. All the four players who were nominated have had great months and seasons, so to win the PCA Player of the Month is a real honour.
“The competition is tough, so I never really think about winning the award despite having been nominated twice in a row. But it’s nice to win it this month and it tops off a great season for me personally.”
Smith, 26, has been the outstanding spin bowler in women’s domestic cricket this season, and this was recognised in her being included in the first ever PCA Women’s Team of the Year at the 2021 cinch PCA Awards.
However, the aspiring all-rounder, who was moved up the order to open against Southern Vipers in the RHF Trophy final, has outlined her ambitions to add further elements to her game.
“I didn’t know it was coming my way, but to be included in the first PCA Women’s Team of the Year was a real honour. It’s been a really good season and I think all the girls who were picked in the team had really good years, so it’s an honour to be amongst them.
“My coach Dani Hazell and I put in a lot of work together over the winter to work on being more of a threat in 50-over cricket, and I think my performances have shown that the hard work has paid off.
“I want to be seen as a genuine all-rounder. My batting is definitely coming along, so hopefully I can keep putting in performances which will show the coaches what I can do. We chose to open up with myself for the final and hopefully I’ll get more opportunities up there next year as well.”
The excitement doesn’t end here for Smith, as she has flown out to Australia to play for Melbourne Stars in the Women’s Big Bash League, an opportunity which she is relishing.
“I found out that I was going to play for the Stars the day after the RHF Trophy final. I was getting ready to hang my boots up for another season, but then you get that opportunity and it’s something you absolutely can’t say no to!
“It’s a really exciting time after a great season, so hopefully I can come out here, keep putting in some good performances and take lots of knowledge and learning from this experience.”