Ed Cowan and Alyssa Healy have capped off outstanding seasons by winning the major Cricket NSW awards during the Steve Waugh-Belinda Clark Medal dinner before more than 400 guests at the Hilton Hotel on Saturday night.
Cowan claimed the Steve Waugh Medal after being the highest run scorer in the Sheffield Shield this season while Healy won the Belinda Clarke Medal following dominant performances with the bat and as a wicket-keeper.
At the age of 34 Cowan, who also won the Sheffield Shield player of the year, had his best summer in 12 seasons of Shield cricket. He passed 900 runs for the third time and his 959 runs at 73.76 is the most he has ever scored. An average of 73.76 is by far his best in any given season. This came after a solid Matador Cup when he made 264 runs with four half-centuries.
Healy’s 479 runs was third overall in WBBL|02, complimenting her nine catches and eight stumpings, five more dismissals than any other wicket-keeper. This ensured Healy was also named the Sydney Sixers WBBL|02 Player of the Tournament. In WNCL she hit her highest score, 159 in just 116 balls against Tasmania, and finished the season with a more controlled 56 not out from 69 balls in the Lendlease Breakers’ comprehensive final victory.
Veteran Lendlease Breakers captain Alex Blackwell was named Women’s National Cricket League Player of the Tournament. She was outstanding, averaging 106 and leading the Breakers to their 18th title in 21 years. In the space of four days during mid-October Blackwell scored 70, 79 and 113 not out. Then chasing Queensland’s modest 119 in the final she scored an unbeaten 36 from 38 balls as the Breakers romped home.
Doug Bollinger claimed the Matador Barbecues One-Day Cup Player of the Tournament. The veteran went wicketless in the first two matches before playing a major role dragging the Blues back on track with four consecutive three-wicket hauls. The big left armer finished with 15 wickets for the competition, the equal most of anyone in the Matador Cup.
Sean Abbott and Daniel Hughes were joint winners of the Sydney Sixers BBL Player of the Tournament. Abbott was exceptional, claiming 20 wickets, the most in a season during the short and exciting history of the Big Bash. Working with Cricket NSW assistant coach Geoff Lawson during the off season saw Abbott develop important variations in his bowling.
A strong finish to the previous Sheffield Shield season and big Matador Cup set Daniel Hughes up for a breakout tournament in BBL|06. He made useful starts in all of the matches bar the final and passed 40 four times, with a top score of 85 against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.
One of Australia’s most exciting cricketers, Pat Cummins won the inaugural Mike Hussey Medal as Sydney Thunder BBL|06 Player of the Tournament. The 23-year-old paceman and dangerous lower order batsman proved too quick for the BBL at times as edges flew to the boundary. Cummins contributed with bat and ball, finishing with a batting average of 33.50. This was second for the Thunder behind England T20 captain Eoin Morgan’s 39.50.
Harmanpreet Kaur was awarded Sydney Thunder’s WBBL|02 Player of the Tournament. Given her standing as India’s Twenty20 captain it was no surprise she made a major contribution to the Thunder this season. The diminutive but hard-hitting batter scored 296 runs, second only to the prodigious Alex Blackwell, at an average of 59.20 and claimed six wickets with her off-spin.
Steve Waugh Medallist – Ed Cowan
Belinda Clark Medallist – Alyssa Healy
Sydney Sixers BBL|06 Player of the Tournament – Sean Abbott and Daniel Hughes
Sydney Sixers WBBL|02 Player of the Tournament – Alyssa Healy
Mike Hussey Medal for Sydney Thunder BBL|06 Player of the Tournament – Pat Cummins
Sydney Thunder WBBL|02 Player of the Tournament - Harmanpreet Kaur
Sheffield Shield Player of the Tournament – Ed Cowan
Women’s National Cricket League Player of the Tournament – Alex Blackwell
Matador Barbecues One-Day Cup Player of the Tournament – Doug Bollinger