The 8th grand final of the Women’s Big Bash League (W-BBL) witnessed an engaging clash between the Sydney Sixers and the Adelaide Strikers at the North Sydney Oval. The finals stage got a touch special this time around for 2-time champions, Sydney Sixers as they get ready to bid farewell to one of their and Australian cricket’s long-serving servant, Nicole Bolton.
Perth-born Nicole Bolton had a fairy-tale start to her international career with an Ashes debut at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the icing on the cake then followed as she struck a memorable ton. Her 124 on debut saw her as the first Australian woman to score a century on her One-Day International (ODI) debut and also, happened to be the first woman of any nationality to score a century against a team fielded by a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC).
Nicole Bolton scored added 3 more ODI centuries and the 3 too had come against full-member teams. She celebrated her 3rd ODI ton on the big stage, during Australia’s opening match of the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup.
Despite a highly convincing start to her international career, Nicole Bolton failed to cement her place in the star-studded Australian team. Her in-and-out period with the team saw her as a part of the 2015 Women’s Ashes in England, then in 2018, she was awarded a national contract for the 2018-19 season by Cricket Australia (CA) and a final one for the 2019-20 season.
The 33-year-old scored 91 runs across 4 Test innings and has got to the highest of 36 in the format. In One-Day Cricket, Nicole Bolton scored 1896 runs at an average of 41.21, a strike rate of 72.31 and her 124 from her debut innings, remains to be her highest score in the format that also sees her with a couple of wickets of 2 innings at an economy rate of 7.20. In Twenty20 Internationals (T20I’s), she only played an innings and has 6 runs in the format.
Nicole Bolton’s W-BBL journey commenced with the Perth Scorchers in 2015 and it only was ahead of the 2021/22 season that she moved to the Sydney Sixers. In the Bash, she’s accumulated 1844 runs and has also got 53 wickets and 32 catches to add to her profile. Sydney Sixers finished the league stage on an absolute high, but it wasn’t to be on the big day for the Sixers and Nicole Bolton.
During the last phase of her cricketing career, Nicole Bolton in June 2019 returned to the Australian squad after taking a five-month break from the game to better her mental health. Late in 2021, in October, she announced her retirement from playing state cricket and now, the W-BBL 08′ editions Final turns out to be her last game of cricket.