WHITCHURCH'S cricket star, Eve Jones, has been recognised for her brilliant season by being named the Charlotte Edwards Cup's Player of the Year.

The Central Sparks captain enjoyed a fruitful campaign with the bat throughout the competition's inaugural season.

Although Jones' side exited the tournament after the group stage, the left-handed batter did enough during her six appearances to top the PCA Most Valuable Player rankings with 143 points – 16 points clear of second placed Emma Lamb.

The 29-year-old scored 276 runs at an average of 55.2 in the competition, by far the highest tally of any player.

On winning the award, Jones said "it was a pretty special feeling".

She added: "T20 is a format I've worked so much on over the last 12-18 months, and I've really looked to work on power hitting and raising my strike rate.

"So to come out and prove that I can do it in all different formats feels like a really good achievement.

"The likes of Emma Lamb, Bryony Smith and Alice Capsey have been brilliant throughout the competition. It's great that the Charlotte Edwards Cup has given youngsters, and also the slightly older players, a big platform to show the world what they can do.

"It's also pleasing to see that the men and women are being recognised with the same amount of prize money for topping the MVP rankings across the competitions – it really shows how much the women's game has come on over the last year or so and it's great that the ECB and the PCA are starting to support the women as much as they do the men."

Jones was in particularly inspired form during the second half of the group stage after returning from a spell with Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred, making scores of 51, 71 and 76 in Sparks' final three group fixtures, of which they won two.

It was a run of form which helped Jones to be voted by the public as the August Women's PCA Player of the Month, her second successive award after also winning the prize in July.

Jones was also named MVP of the Match four times out of a possible six in this year's Charlotte Edwards Cup.

Only Lamb won more than one such award during this season's competition.