Derbyshire batter, Shan Masood, has been named the PCA Player of the Month for April.
Masood is currently the leading run-scorer in the LV= County Championship, with a total of 713 from just six innings, including double centuries against Sussex and Leicestershire.
The Pakistan international’s form has seen him voted as the PCA Player of the Month for April, the first award of the season, overcoming competition from Kent’s Ben Compton, Hampshire’s Keith Barker and Yorkshire’s Harry Brook.
Masood was presented with his Player of the Month trophy by teammate, and PCA Vice Chair, Anuj Dal, with the entire squad and coaching staff present, ahead of Monday’s training session.
It is Masood’s first time playing in the LV= Insurance County Championship and he believes the resources in county cricket provide everything he needs to improve. The 32-year-old is taking inspiration from Marnus Labuschagne’s first spell at Glamorgan and seeing how that benefited him on the international stage.
“Looking at his career path. Marnus came to Glamorgan, scored about 1,200 runs and then never looked back after getting into that Australian side,” said Masood.
“He is a prime example, and these are the things you look for. I saw significant improvements in his batting after his spell here, and there is no surprise that he is world number one right now. I talked to him a lot when he was in Pakistan, and I spoke to him a lot during the match we played against each other recently.
“The county set-up provides everything I need to take my game forward, so it is up to me to make use of the incredible resources.”
In addition to his back-to-back double hundreds, Masood has scored three half-centuries, giving him an average of 119.
When Masood spoke to the Professional Cricketers’ Association, he was also keen to bring up his close relationship with his late sister, who sadly passed away in 2021. He attributed some of his early-season success to the family tragedy, as he believes his personal experience has stopped him from over analysing and brought increased perspective to his life.
“Events in the last two years have allowed me to be present. I lost my sister not so long ago, who was so close to us, and this has allowed me to reflect on life and the game. I feel cricket is a thing that should be enjoyed. I have stopped over analysing and stopped putting lots of pressure on myself. I am not worried about the results because I know if I am putting in the yards and I have good intentions they take care of themselves.”
The left-hander scored a career-best 239 against Sussex at the County Ground, before backing that up with another 219 against Leicestershire, which earnt him 39.10 points to win the Match MVP.
Masood told the Association that he is grateful for the award and he praised the environment in the Derbyshire dressing room for helping him to achieve this. Masood hasn’t set any specific targets for this summer, and he prefers to put the hard work in training after he described the county summer as ‘relentless’.
“County cricket excites me, the fixtures are relentless, but it gives you games of cricket week in and week out and the chance to improve your trade. I knew I would play 14 Championship games – and I get to work with Ian Bell, which is a huge privilege. You play against quality opposition and have the chance to play all three formats.
“These awards are always a by-product of the work you put in and I am extremely grateful to be the PCA’s Player of the Month.
“Being provided with a very good environment and platform by Derbyshire and Mickey Arthur has allowed me to enjoy my cricket and not think too far ahead. The dressing room is an important place, and you can tell it is a Mickey Arthur dressing room. His standards are so high, but you get a lot of backing from the coach so when you go out on the field you can focus on giving good performances.
“It helps that there are some familiar faces. I know Billy Godleman after playing under 19s cricket with him, and Wayne Madsen was with me at Multan in the Pakistan Super League.
“We have a very good team and they are just starting to believe that they can put in good performances week in and week out.”
He will now be looking to put together another good run of form in May, with two first-class and three T20 fixtures to be played before the end of the month, starting with this week’s LV= County Championship fixture against Worcestershire.
We’re looking forward to welcoming supporters back to The Incora County Ground next summer and our Blast Pass will put you at the heart of the action.
Buying a Vitality Blast pass for 2022 now will secure your place at every home group game next summer. You will be able to see every ball as the most explosive form of cricket returns to Derbyshire in 2022 for just £89, a saving of over 30%.
With a formidable top-order, backed up by an exciting crop of bowlers, the Falcons are ready to go again in 2022.
Vitality Blast 2022 – Tickets on sale now!
Mickey Arthur’s Falcons kick off their Vitality Blast campaign under The Incora County Ground lights against Birmingham Bears on Friday 27 May, when the likes of Leus du Plooy, Wayne Madsen, Shan Masood and George Scrimshaw will all be aiming to make the perfect start.
After a dramatic episode in 2021, the East Midlands Derby against Notts Outlaws returns on Friday 3 June, while the Falcons will be aiming to extend their Vitality Blast winning streak at Queen’s Park to four matches, when they take on Yorkshire Vikings to close out the BRM Solicitors Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council, on Saturday 18 June.