Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association have worked in partnership to introduce two new awards for female cricketers for the 2017 Allan Border Medal awards night, the Betty Wilson Young Player of the Year Award and the Domestic Player of the Year award. These new awards complement the longstanding Belinda Clark Award, now in its 16th year, which recognises Australia’s leading female international cricketer of the year.
In a year of continued growth for women’s cricket in Australia – with the Rebel Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) enjoying a successful second season and female participation growing 9 per cent * – the introduction of these new awards is another demonstration of the work being done to ensure that cricket is a sport for everyone in Australia.
The Betty Wilson Young Player of the Year Award, named in honour of one of Australia’s greatest all-rounders to have played the game, will be awarded to the most outstanding eligible cricketer during the award period^ taking into account performances in the Women’s National Cricket League and WBBL as well as for the Australian Women’s Team, the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars. To be eligible to win the award, a player must be 24 years or less and have played 10 or less matches prior to the start of the award period and have not won the award previously.
The Domestic Player of the Year Award will be awarded at the Allan Border Medal awards night to the most outstanding cricketer across the Women’s National Cricket League and the WBBL during the award period^.
Both the Betty Wilson Young Player of the Year and Domestic Player of the Year are determined by votes cast by Australian-based Australian, State and WBBL contracted players, gathered and tallied by the Australian Cricketers’ Association, with players unable to vote for a player of their own State.
“It is fantastic to have these new awards announced for the 2017 Allan Border Medal awards night, which provide the entire cricketing community more opportunity to recognise and celebrate the performances of the incredible women who play our game ,” said Cricket Australia Head of Female Engagement, Sarah Styles.
“For each major initiative tailored towards increasing the appeal of cricket to women and girls, such as the Big Bash League, the WBBL and more recently with the Growing Cricket For Girls Fund, there are countless seen and unseen changes Australian Cricket is taking to ensure cricket a sport for all. These new awards are another example of this.”
Australian Cricketers’ Association Manager of Female Operations Jodie Fields, said the new awards would serve as a well-deserved recognition of the domestic female game in Australia.
“The introduction of these awards is something that is extremely important to all players, and represents a fantastic opportunity to further celebrate female players at the Allan Border Medal awards night,” said the former Australian captain.
“To be voted the Betty Wilson Young Player of the Year or the Domestic Player of the Year by their peers will be a terrific honour for the winners, and will duly acknowledge the role domestic cricket plays in developing the next generation of Australian stars.”
The 2017 Allan Border Medal will be held on Monday 23 January at The Star, Sydney. The awards ceremony will be broadcast live by the Nine Network on 9GEM from 7.30pm and will also be broadcast live on cricket.com.au.