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Player of the Season nominee: Phil Salt

Phil Salt enjoyed fantastic performances for both Sussex and England this summer as the explosive batsman edged ever closer to his full Three Lions debut.

When his first appearance on the international stage does come, it will be thanks to not only his supreme form in white-ball cricket for Sussex over recent seasons, but also his first-class record.

In this summer’s Bob Willis Trophy, Salt opened the batting as he has done for the last three years, and was at his brutal best throughout the first game of the summer – against Hampshire at Hove.

Under cloudy skies and after months with no cricket, Salt took on the Division One bowling attack to score a first-innings 63 and a second-innings 80.

While the first fifty put Sussex in a strong position, it was the second half-century against our south coast rivals which really secured victory, and meant Sussex were the first team to ever win a Bob Willis Trophy match.

At The 1st Central County Ground a week later, Salt took on a Division One bowling attack once more – this time against champions, Essex.

A third consecutive half-century followed, before the 24-year-old was called into England’s bio-secure training bubble for the one-day matches against Ireland.

While he didn’t get selected to play in the series, he showed his ability in a warm-up match for the Lions with a blistering century, and carried his white-ball form into the Vitality Blast.

Against Surrey in the opening match, Salt smashed 28 off an over with six consecutive boundaries, and then scored 27 off just 16 balls in the absorbing win against Hampshire 48 hours later.

Another international call-up followed his fast start in the Blast, but he was back in Hove to score 56 off 40 balls against Middlesex and 42 off 22 against Essex Eagles as the Sharks secured a quarter-final spot.

In total, Salt scored 211 T20 runs this summer with a strike rate of 167.46, while he also impressed as wicket-keeper for Luke Wright’s side, and amassed 290 first-class runs at an average of 36.25.