After around 15 years of the enormous contribution to the Western Australia cricket team, the state’s all-time leading run-scorer and leading centurion Nicole Bolton bid adieu to her teammates as she announced retirement from state cricket.
Former Australian opener and three-time Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) Player of the Year, Bolton played 85 games in her WNCL career ending up with 2758 runs which included seven outstanding centuries and 59 wickets for Western Australia. She also scored two centuries while playing for Victoria taking her total century count to nine and her total WNCL runs to 3158. Bolton has played domestic cricket majorly for Western Australia since 2004, except for the session 2014-15 where she played for Victoria but in 2015 returned back to Western Australia. She has been the recipient of the Zoe Goss medal five times. A medal named after one of Western Australia’s star players Zoe Goss, it is awarded to a Western Australia player based on her performance in WNCL and Rebel’s Women Big Bash League (WBBL).
This isn’t all to the list of records Bolton holds. Not only is she the first Western Australia woman to score a WNCL century which she did in 2012 scoring 121 against Tasmania, but she also is the first Australian woman to score an ODI century on debut which she got against England at MCG during the multi-format Ashes in 2014 smashing 124 runs.
The final match she played for Western Australia was in March this year against Victoria Women, where she scored a match-winning unbeaten 100 and was adjudged as the player of the match. Though it wasn’t a good season for the team as they ended up with just a couple of wins from eight matches, it was a good last match for Bolton which hardly anyone knew was the end to Bolton’s journey with the team.
In a report by cricket.com.au, Bolton said “My heart still loves cricket but it’s something that’s not at the forefront of my mind anymore – if it’s not something that I’m able to put in 110 percent, I think it’s time to walk away. I walk away a proud WA player, it’s been a long 17 years and it’s got to this point where I’m a bit tired, to be honest, but really fortunate.”
Having said that, Bolton will be playing the last few matches of her cricketing career representing Sydney Sixers in WBBL starting from 14th October. Her fans will be able to see her play at her native place, in the capital city of Western Australia, Perth during the three matches the Sixers are scheduled to play there- Two at Lilac Hill on 30th and 31st October and the last one at Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground on November 3. Though parting ways as a player, she would still be associated with the sport as a coach for Subiaco-Floreat Cricket Club.
As reported by WA Cricket, Becky Grundy, Western Australia’s Women’s Head Coach appreciated Bolton’s contribution to the team and said, “Nicole Bolton has been an incredible servant to cricket in Western Australia over a long period of time and we congratulate her on a fantastic career for WA.”
She further wished her good luck saying, “On behalf of the Women’s team and WA Cricket, we wish Nicole the very best in her next chapter and will no doubt still see her around cricket ovals this season in a coaching capacity for Subiaco-Floreat’s A and B Grade teams.”