On Saturday during the lunch break of Day 3 of the Women’s Ashes Test between Australia and England, Allan Border Medal and Belinda Clark award winners were announced. While pace sensation Mitchell Starc won the Allan Border medal, star all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner bagged the Belinda Clark award. Gardner became the first time recipient of the Belinda Clark award as she pipped her teammate Beth Mooney to win the coveted prize by a margin of seven votes.
The 24-year old all-rounder was among the top three run-getters and top five wicket-takers for Australia across formats last year. She featured in 10 innings, muscling 281 runs at a healthy average of 35.1, including four half-centuries. With the ball, the right arm off-spinner scalped nine wickets. Since her international debut for Australia in 2017, Gardner has proved to be a genuine all-rounder for the side. So far, she has played two Tests, 39 ODIs, and 51 T20Is for Australia. She has 1000+ international runs and 70+ international wickets across formats. Recently, she was named in the ICC Women’s T20I team of the year.
🏆Australian Award 2021🏆
• Belinda Clark Medal – Ashleigh Gardner
• ODI Player of the Year 2021 – Alyssa Healy
• T20I Player of the Year 2021 – Beth Mooney#AusCricketAwards
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) January 29, 2022
Apart from Gardner, Alyssa Healy and Beth Mooney were the other awardees. While the wicket-keeper-bat Healy won the Female One Day International Player of the Year for the third consecutive time, Mooney claimed the Female T20 Player of the Year. The swashbuckling opening batter Healy, who opens the batting for Australia across formats, had an outstanding 2021, as she plundered 267 runs in six ODI innings at a stellar average of 44.50 and strike rate of 94.01. In the process, she hit a couple of delectable half-centuries. Just a few days back, Healy was the only Australian to be named in the ICC Women’s ODI team of the year. She was also one of the four Australians to be named in the ICC Women’s T20I team of the year. In the shortest international format, which is the T20, opening batter Beth Mooney hammered 160 runs in five T20I innings at an average of 40 and a scintillating strike rate of 115.94. The stylish southpaw struck two half-centuries last year.
In addition to Gardner, Healy, and Mooney, top-order batter Elyse Villani and right arm seamer Darcie Brown bagged the Female Domestic Player of the Year award and Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year award respectively.
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.