KYLE Abbott has been confirmed as the Most Valuable Player in this season’s Specsavers County Championship ahead of Hampshire’s clash against his former Middlesex teammates.

Only Essex duo Jamie Porter and Simon Harmer have taken more than Abbott’s 45 Championship wickets at 20.08 this season.

But the former South Africa bowler has also been excellent with the bat.

His 378 runs at 37.79 have given him the points that put him top of the Professional Cricketers’ Association’s MVP rankings .

A 20-point haul from the rain-blighted draw with Surrey at the Ageas Bowl was enough for Abbott to displace Kent all-rounder Darren Stevens, at the top of the rankings, which identify the match-winners and key influencers of matches throughout the domestic season (the formula takes into account conditions, quality of opposition, captaincy and strike-rates as well as runs scored and wickets taken).

Abbott earned ten points for his first innings bowling against Surrey and he added five more for making a valuable 37 in his only innings.

Those points took Abbott to 286 in championship cricket this season giving him a two-point lead over Porter, who has climbed to second place with three rounds of matches remaining.

So good has Abbott been this season that his stats are superior to 2014, when he took 36 wickets at 20.33 and scored 127 runs at 14.11 as Hampshire won promotion as division two champions.

Abbott may well become Hampshire’s first player to take 50 Championship wickets in a division one season since 2009, when Imran Tahir took 52, against Middlesex at Uxbridge.

With three games still to play, he could yet finish the season with the most wickets by a Hampshire player in a division one season.

But he will be going well to surpass James Tomlinson’s 2008 haul of 67 never mind Shane Warne’s record top-flight haul of 70 for Hampshire in 2000.