For the first time in three years, the annual Australia Cricket Awards were held at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse on January 30. Putting their cricketing equipment aside, both male and female Australian cricketers were dressed to the nines.
For the first time since the 2020 event in Melbourne’s Crown Casino, the black tie gala featured a “blue carpet” for players and their partners after two years of low-key virtual presentations because of the global COVID outbreak and cricket’s biosecurity protocols.
On a 3-2-1 basis from each match during the year, votes from players, umpires, and media representatives determined the top prizes for each format. Players also voted for the male and female domestic players of the year as well as the rising star honours.
Let’s have a look on the awards and the awardees:
Beth Mooney – Belinda Clark Award
The prize from 2021 went to Beth Mooney, who claimed her second in three years. Beth Mooney had an exceptional year and ended the voting session as the top run scorer in all forms with 976 runs with a strike rate of 102.6.
The 29-year-old left-hander was nominated for the prestigious Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year, which ultimately went to England’s Nat Scrivers. She also played for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Women’s One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) teams of the Year last week.
Among the other nominees, Australia’s all-format skipper Meg Lanning (110), and Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney (129) received more votes than either of them (95).
Tahlia McGrath – Women’s T20I Player of the Year
The 27-year-old all-rounder made her T20I debut late in 2021, and in just 11 innings the following year, she had amassed 435 runs at an average of 62.14, a strike rate of 145.00, and a career-high score of 91*. She bowled for 10 innings (24 overs) and recorded the top figures of 3/13, taking 13 wickets at an economy rate of 6.95, an average of 12.84, and a strike rate of 11.0.
Tahlia McGrath recently won the Women’s T20I Player of the Year Award at the ICC Awards. To earn a similar honour at the Australian Cricket Awards, she outperformed Beth Mooney (27) and Ashleigh Gardner (24) with a vote total of 31.
Beth Mooney – Women’s ODI Player of the Year
Beth Mooney, who has now won the Belinda Clark Award twice, won the Women’s ODI Player of the Year award for her outstanding performance, scoring 403 runs in 10 innings at an average of 100.75, a strike rate of 96.41, and the maximum score of 73.
The voting period covered Australia’s home series against Pakistan from the beginning of this month, where she recorded a career-high 133 runs at Allan Border Field. With 25 votes, Beth just barely won the prize, beating out all-format skipper Meg Lanning (24) and Alyssa Healy (21).
Annabel Sutherland – Women’s Domestic Player of the Year
The 21-year-old speed all-rounder opened the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) season at the Karen Rolton Oval with a magnificent 110* off 101. It wasn’t long before the Victorian arrived at the Women’s Big Bash League after scoring 111 out of 114 at the Junction Oval.
She was the Melbourne Stars’ top run scorer in the Women’s Big Bash League (W-BBL), scoring 304 runs at an average of 33.77, with a maximum score of 62*. She also finished first in wickets, taking 21 victims.
Courtney Sippel – Betty Wilson Young Cricketer
The right-arm fast first appeared in the 2005 WBBL for Brisbane Heat and was immediately identified as the player to watch. She is on the verge of joining the senior Australian women’s team thanks to the Queenslanders’ steady ascent and recent A-game appearances.
She played in the Australia A team that faced England A last summer and most recently against Pakistan for the Governor General’s – XI.
Ashleigh Gardner – WBBL Player of the Tournament
Ashleigh Gardner, 25, returned to the WBBL in excellent form this summer following a dismal previous campaign. She scored 339 runs in 13 innings at a strike rate of 153 and claimed 23 wickets to tie Megan Schutt of the Adelaide Strikers for the most wickets in the 2008 edition.
She had the highest strike rate of any player to surpass 200 runs and led the league in sixes hit with 14. The spin all-rounder made history by becoming the first Australian to receive the Player of the Season honor since 2004.
Margaret Jennings – A recent inductee into Australia’s Hall of Fame
The most recent, 60th and 61st inductees into the 1996-founded Australian Cricket Hall of Fame are the Victorian team of Marg Jennings and Ian Redpath. After she finished playing, Jennings worked as a selector for Victoria and Australia as well as a coach for the Victorian women’s team. Marg Jennings Cup, Victoria’s Premier Under-18 Competition’s new moniker, was only given to it last year.
Australia’s first Women’s ODI World Cup victory was led by exceptional wicketkeeper-batter Marg Jennings in 1978. She participated in 8 Test matches and amassed 341 runs at an average of 28.41, including a few fifty-pluses and a hundred, with a top score of 104. With the gloves, she managed to hold onto 14 catches and start 10 stumpings in Test match cricket. She participated in 12 ODIs, recording 12 catches, 1 stumping, and 221 runs at an average of 31.57 with 1 fifty. Her highest score was 57.