Current and former NSW and Australian greats Ellyse Perry, Lisa Sthalekar, Richie Benaud and Glenn McGrath were all recognised at the NSW Champions of Sport Ceremony at The Star Sydney on Monday night.
Perry was named Athlete of the Year after being a finalist in 2017 and 2018, Sthalekar was inducted into the NSW Hall of Champions, Benaud was officially recognised as a Legend of NSW Sport and Glenn McGrath became just the third recipient of The Waratah, which recognises an individual’s leadership in sport, their passion for NSW sport and their desire to achieve broader community outcomes.
The McGrath Foundation, set up in honour of Glenn’s late wife Jane, currently funds 135 McGrath Breast Care Nurses in communities right across Australia who work to improve the lives of individuals and families experiencing breast cancer.
Perry is currently ranked by the International Cricket Council as the number one allrounder, number two batter and number four bowler in the world. She recently became the first player in history, man or woman, to score 1,000 Twenty20 International runs and claim 100 International Twenty20 wickets.
Perry dominated Australia's successful Ashes Series in England with bat and ball across all three playing formats, winning four Player of the Match awards. She scored a total of 378 runs at an average of 94.5 and claimed 7-22 in a One Day International, the best figures by an Australian woman in that format.
At a domestic level last season, Perry smashed the record for most runs in a Women's Big Bash League season scoring 777 runs while leading the Sydney Sixers to a fourth successive WBBL Final. She also starred for the NSW Breakers, who claimed their 20th Women's National Cricket League title in 23 years.
Lisa Sthalekar finished a distinguished International career in early 2013 as the leading allrounder in the world. A talented off-spinner and a hard-hitting batter, Sthalekar made a remarkable impact on the female game.
From 187 international matches she claimed 229 wickets and scored 3,913 runs including three centuries with a highest score of 120 not out across Test, One-Day and T20 matches.
Born in India, adopted and raised in Sydney, Lisa made her debut for the NSW Breakers in 1997, and became their most-capped one-day player, representing her state in 145 matches.
Lisa made her international debut in 2001 in a One Day International (ODI) against England. She went on to become the first woman to score 1,000 runs and take 100 wickets in ODIs. In 2006 she captained Australia in three ODIs against New Zealand. In 2010, she took 5-35, her best ODI bowling figures, in her 100th match.
Playing for Australia with the Southern Stars in eight Tests, Lisa was part of the Australian team which won the 2011 Ashes.
Lisa played in 54 Women’s T20 International matches, including being a part of Australia’s Twenty20 World Cup winning teams in 2010 and 2012.
She was part of 14 Women’s National Cricket League titles across 16 seasons, including five as captain. She still holds the records for the most WNCL games by any player and the most wickets taken in the competition.
Awarded the 2012 ICC Women’ s T20 Player of the Year, Lisa retired after the 2013 World Cup win before returning to play the first two seasons of the Women’s Big Bash League with the Sydney Sixers.
She is now a respected cricket commentator.
Benaud is the fourth cricketer elevated to legends status along with Sir Donald Bradman AO OBE, and Benaud’s former NSW and Australian team-mates, Keith Miller AM MBE, and Arthur Morris MBE.
Benaud, a crafty leg spinning all-rounder, made his Test debut against the West Indies at the SCG in 1952 and went on to play 63 Tests for Australia, including 28 as captain.
He never lost a series as captain and was the first player to reach 2,000 runs and 200 wickets in Test cricket.
His cricket legacy spanned nearly 70 years as he enjoyed a glittering media career post his playing retirement as a celebrated cricket broadcaster, journalist and author.