The NSW Country Cricket Award winners for the 2019/20 season have been named.
Teenage batting sensation Phoebe Litchfield, 17, and South Coast cricketer Kerrod White were the major award winners.
After a remarkable debut season in the WBBL and WNCL competitions, Litchfield received the Alex Blackwell Award as the NSW Country Female Player of the Season.
White received the Josh Hazlewood Medal as the NSW Country Male Player of the Season.
Both were confirmed as winners of these awards in early April as part of the Cricket NSW Annual Award winners.
With Scott Burkinshaw and Naomi McDonald, White was named in the Australian Country Merit XI teams following the conclusion of the Toyota Australian Country Cricket Championships in January.
A stunning 52 not out by 16-year-old Litchfield to guide the Sydney Thunder to victory over eventual Women’s Big Bash champions, the Brisbane Heat, in October was a glimpse of the immense potential possessed by the teenager from Orange.
In her first Women’s National Cricket League campaign for the NSW Breakers, Litchfield scored 252 runs at an average of 42, batting in the middle order.
Her innings of 82 not out to steer the Breakers out of trouble against the ACT, and clinch victory, was yet another example of her maturity.
Litchfield also represented the Governor-General’s XI in late January, playing a key role to defeat the Indian Women’s team at Drummoyne Oval, and was part of the Bushfire Bash in Melbourne batting with the great Ricky Ponting and Brian Lara.
White scored 455 runs at 50.56 at the Country Championships in Toowoomba including two centuries, in his first NSW Country championship team. He was second leading run-scorer for the competition behind Western Australian batsman Bevan Bennell with 574 runs.
Captaining the South Coast Crew in the T20 Plan B Regional Bash, White also made 138 runs from three innings at a strike rate of 226. His highest score was 81 from 56 balls at the top of the order against the Orana Outlaws.
McDonald, who hails from Grafton, was named the Best Female Player for NSW Country at the Country Championships after finishing as the leading run-scorer in the Female Division with 256 T20 runs at 32 for the Bush Breakers.
Central Coast pace bowler Scott Burkinshaw was named the Best Male Player for NSW Country at the national country titles finishing the tournament as the leading wicket taker for the Bush Blues in the Male Division. He took 14 wickets averaging 14.36.
Emerging North Coast fast bowler Caelan Maladay, 17, was named Kookaburra Youth Player of the Year.
Other award recipients include Newcastle’s Shane Burley who was named NSW Country Coach of the Year.
NSW Country Groundsman of the Year was Bob Smith who looks after Seiffert Oval in Goulburn. Dubbo Daily Liberal journalist Nick Guthrie claimed the NSW Country Media Award.
2019/20 NSW Country Cricket Award Winners
Josh Hazlewood Medal – NSW Male Country Player of the Year
Kerrod White (Greater Illawarra)
Alex Blackwell Award – NSW Female Country Player of the Year
Phoebe Litchfield (Western)
Best Male Player at Toyota Australian Country Championships
Scott Burkinshaw (Central Coast)
Best Female Player at Toyota Australian Country Championships
Naomi McDonald (North Coastal)
Kookaburra Youth Player of the Year
Caelan Maladay (North Coastal)
NSW Country Groundsman of the Year
Bob Smith – Seiffert Oval, Goulburn (ACT Southern Districts)
NSW Country Coach of the Year
Shane Burley (Newcastle)
NSW Country Media Award
Nick Guthrie – The Daily Liberal Dubbo (Western)