The Professional Cricketers’ Association and Sky Sports have teamed up to offer cricket fans the chance to vote for the new PCA Player of the Month Awards.

The top four players in the County PCA Most Valuable Player Rankings at the end of each individual month will make up the shortlist.

Then a vote to decide the PCA Player of the Month will take place via the Sky Sports app and website.

The PCA Player of the Month winner will be presented with a commemorative trophy with the player who tops the overall PCA MVP Rankings at the end of the season, receiving a £10,000 prize and a trophy.

The first shortlist for the April Player of the Month will be announced on Tuesday May 2 and voting will close on Thursday May 4.

Worcestershire skipper Joe Leach is currenty lying in 10th spot after fine start to the campaign in County Championship and One-Day cricket.

His County team-mate and PCA chairman, Daryl Mitchell, said: "This is an exciting innovation which combines the data from the PCA MVP with voting from cricket supporters through the Sky Sports app and website.

"It further enhances the MVP, a formula which provides a more rigorous analysis of performances than traditional batting and bowling averages.

"We hope that the new voting system will increase interest in the MVP and highlight consistent performances across all formats in county cricket.

"We are very grateful to Sky Sports for their support of the initiative."

The PCA MVP Rankings system was introduced in 2007, an innovation which provides a more rigorous analysis of player performances than traditional batting and bowling averages.

The rankings were designed by the players to identify the match-winners and key influencers of matches throughout the domestic season.

The formula gives full credit to those players whose performances improve their team’s chances of winning.

Points are accrued for all runs scored and wickets taken, these are then adjusted within the context of the match to take into account strike rates and economy rates.

Runs gain more points if they are scored quickly or in low-scoring contests.

Top order wickets are judged more valuable than those that fall later.

The formula also takes into account conditions, quality of opposition, captaincy and strike-rates as well as runs scored and wickets taken.

The new PCA Player of the Month Awards reflects the growing importance of the PCA MVP Rankings.

The PCA MVP Rankings are now also used by the England and Wales Cricket Board as a selection tool to help pick teams for the North-South Series, which was played for the first time in the United Arab Emirates last month.

The top four England-qualified players from both the North and South groups in the PCA MVP Rankings after the group stages of the Royal London One Day Cup will earn automatic inclusion in the squads for the 2018 North v South Series.

At the moment the MVP Leaderboard is: 1 Darren Stevens (Kent), 2 Ben Coad (Yorkshire), 3 Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), 4 Kyle Abbott (Hampshire), 5 Liam Norwell (Gloucestershire), 6 James Pattinson (Nottinghamshire), 7 Alex Davies (Lancashire), 8 Gareth Berg (Hampshire), 9 Mark Footitt (Surrey), 10 JOE LEACH (WORCESTERSHIRE).