Lendlease Breakers and Sydney Thunder bowler Lauren Cheatle and NSW Blues and Sydney Thunder batsman Jason Sangha have been named NSW Country Players of the Year at the NSW Country Cricket Association’s annual dinner at the Entrance.

Cheatle was the inaugural recipient of the Alex Blackwell Medal, named after her Breakers and Thunder captain who started her cricket career in the Riverina.

Sangha became the first player to be awarded the Josh Hazlewood Medal, named after the Blues and Australia fast bowler who played his junior cricket in  the Central Northern region.

Cheatle enjoyed a breakout 2015/16 season, in which she made her debut for the Breakers, Sydney Thunder and Australia.

The 17 year old from Bowral played a key role in getting the Breakers to their 20th consecutive WNCL final, and in the Thunder’s inaugural Women’s Big Bash title.

Sangha also had a breakout season, one which will see him continue to rise the representative ranks in 2016/17.

The Newcastle batsman enjoyed great success and went from playing club cricket for Wallsend and the Under 17 State Challenge in Coffs Harbour, to First Grade cricket in Sydney with Randwick-Petersham, then with the Cricket Australia XI in the U/17 and U/19 National Championships.

Sangha also headed to the UAE with the Australian U/19 squad, scoring a century on that tour.

He was rewarded for the outstanding season with both a NSW Blues and Sydney Thunder rookie contact.

He joined Hazlewood as one of three players to be awarded a NSW contract while in high school.

Russell Fensom was named Country Groundsman of the year for his work in preparing outstanding facilities for the Blues Sheffield Shield match at the C.ex International Sportspark earlier this year, as well as Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park at last year’s U/17 State Challenge.

Western Zone’s Graeme Glazebrook was named Umpire of the Year, while Central Northern’s Rod Bryant took home the Country Coach of the Year award.

2016 NSW Country Cricket Awards:

  • NSW Country Media Award – Tim Robinson WIN TV Illawarra
  • NSW Country Groundsman of the Year – Russell Fensom – Coffs Coast Sport and Leisure Park
  • NSW Country Umpire of the Year – Graeme Glazebrook (Western Zone)
  • NSW Country Coach of the Year – Rod Bryant (Central Northern)
  • Kookaburra Under 21 Player of the Year – Jason Sangha (Newcastle)
  • NSW Player at the CBA Australian Country Championships – Scott Burkinshaw (Central Coast)
  • Cricket NSW Lifetime Coaching Awards
    - Max Shepherd (Western/Riverina)
    - John Kilborn OAM (Central Northern)
    - Carolyn Sheehan (Western)
    - Carl Sharpe OAM (Western)
  • Life Membership of Country Cricket
    - Marie Cornish OAM (Western)
  • NSW Female Country Player of the Year – Alex Blackwell Medal – Lauren Cheatle (Southern ACT)
  • NSW Make Country Player of the Year – Josh Hazlewood Medal – Jason Sangha (Newcastle)