On April 23, England’s Heather Knight and Australia’s Rachael Haynes bagged top awards at the annual Cricket NSW Awards held at Doltone House in Sydney. The duo was a part of the team that won the sixth edition of Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL). The 2020-21 win was Sydney Thunder’s second win, with the first win coming in the inaugural season of 2015-16.
Heather Knight scored 446 runs in 15 innings at a healthy average of 40.55 and a stellar strike rate of 124.93. The English skipper struck as many as 49 boundaries and eight sixes in the tournament. She hit five half-centuries and had the highest score of 83. For her prolific performance in the competition, Knight was presented with the Alex Blackwell Medal for Thunder’s WBBL Player of the Tournament. The English batter received 21.5 points to edge out Australia’s rising star Hannah Darlington (19 points), her countrymate Sammy-Jo Johnson (16 points), and South Africa’s Shabnim Ismail (16.5 points). Johnson (15 matches), Darlington (13 matches), and Ismail (15 matches) scalped 22, 19, and 14 wickets respectively.
— Cricket NSW (@CricketNSW) April 23, 2021
On the other hand, Thunder skipper and Australia’s vice-captain Rachael Haynes mustered 337 runs in 15 innings at an average of 37.44 and a strike rate of 109.42. The southpaw smashed 35 boundaries and half a dozen sixes in the competition. She had a couple of half-centuries against her name with the best score of 61.
The 34-year old Australian claimed the prestigious Belinda Clark Medal, which is presented to the NSW player. She received the most votes across the WNCL (Women’s National Cricket League), Australia’s 50-over domestic competition, and WBBL Tournaments by their peers, coaches, and match officials. Haynes also took home the WNCL Player of the Tournament for her performance for the NSW Breakers. She muscled 413 runs in six innings at an average of 82.60 and a strike rate of 96.94, including two centuries and as many half-centuries. The swashbuckling bat hammered 58 boundaries and five sixes in the tournament. She was the highest run-getter for the NSW Breakers and fourth-best overall across seven teams.
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.