Kent’s destructive batsman Heino Kuhn has been voted the Professional Cricketers’ Association Player of the Month for June after guiding his side to runners-up in the Royal London One-Day Cup.
The South African created headlines throughout the month, scoring four centuries in five 50-over games, including one in each of the Spitfires knockout fixtures to take them to Lord’s.
Kuhn has scooped the award thanks to receiving 36% of the public vote from supporters on a poll conducted on the PCA and Sky Sports online platforms.
He narrowly edged out teammate Joe Denly who received 32% of the votes with Warwickshire batsmen Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott following.
The shortlist was produced via the PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings for the month of June with all four producing outstanding months.
Kuhn was awarded two Man of the Matches in June in an unforgettable month for the South African international, scoring 670 runs in all competitions, more than any other player in the country.
“It’s a great honour to win this award, especially in my first season here. You want to contribute and to be voted PCA Player of the Month is a great honour,” said Kuhn.
“I was up against high quality international players so it’s a massive honour, I’m so happy.
“Scoring four hundreds in five games does not happen often, it was a very special month and I’m very grateful for all the runs and getting us to the final. I just would have loved to get one more in the final to get us that trophy but we will have to try again next year.
“It was just one of those months where everything goes your way, every time I got to the crease I just felt good from ball one and it helps having some quality players batting with me.”
The opening batsman’s outrageous run started on the first day of the month, posting an individual score of 117 against Surrey, followed two days later with 113 to beat Gloucestershire with Kuhn partnering with Denly to lead the Spitfires to victories.
However, the 34-year-old’s standout performances came in the knockout stages of the One-Day Cup as he claimed Man of the Match in the play-off and semi-final.
An unbeaten 124 against 2017 winners Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge led Kent to the last four before opening smashing 127 at Worcester in the semi-final which proved to be a match-winning innings.
Kuhn ended the month with 151 MVP points, just three behind Denly, a player who he believes should be back in the England fold.
“I see Joe as an unbelievable player, I call him the three-in-one player, he’s a great fielder, a very good bowler and a special batsman. Batting with him he makes it look effortless. I’m hoping he gets another crack with England because he is in great form.
“I know England have a lot of quality players but with the form he is in and I think it would be a great time to get him in there, especially with his bowling offering a different dimension.”
Attention now turns to the Vitality Blast with the T20 competition starting on Wednesday evening. The Spitfires have to wait until Friday for their opener against Surrey with Kuhn in prime form.
“I can’t wait to get started in the T20 competition, we start at Surrey at the Oval and I know it’s already sold out so I know it will be a big event.
“Preparation is going well and we have just played two games against the Netherlands. I only played one which was yesterday and I was lucky enough to score another hundred so that’s a good start. I’m just hoping to take that form into Friday and Sunday.”
Kent will be without the current leader of the Overall County MVP Rankings, Matt Henry, who has returned home to New Zealand but Kuhn is confident they have the squad to replace the fast bowler.
“It is a shame to see Matt go home, he was absolutely great for us. He’s won so many games for us, he will definitely be missed but we have Adam Milne coming in now and also Carlos Brathwaite for the T20s so they are more than capable of taking up his role and winning some T20 games.”