Hannah Darlington won the Alex Blackwell medal while Rene Farrell was conferred the Belinda Clark Medal in the New South Wales (NSW) cricket awards for 2019-20, it was announced on Saturday (April 4).
While it was the young Darlington’s first season for Sydney Thunder, Farrell played her last one, signing off on a high.
“This has been another successful season for Cricket NSW, which was unfortunately cut short by the devastating impact of the coronavirus,” said Lee Germon, Cricket NSW CEO. “It’s wonderful to see some of our veterans standing tall while the next generation continues to shine through.”
The teenaged Darlington played her first Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) game on the day she appeared her class 12 English exam and went on to become Thunder’s leading wicket-taker in the season with 16 scalps. She also scored 81 runs at a strike rate of 105.19. She also displayed her agility on the field, taking some spectacular catches.
“It’s really nice to be recognised by my teammates and the award is named after my idol so it’s extra special to receive,” said Darlington, who idolizes Blackwell.
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“I don’t think anyone expects to win player of the year in their debut season. I was just happy to be out there and helping the team. It’s a great motivation for next season. With a couple of star players leaving, hopefully I can play a bigger role within the team. It’s nice to know that I have a season under my belt, and a successful one at that.”
Meanwhile, Farrell shone in her final season, winning her first Belinda Clark Medal. The 33-year-old was also named the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) Player of the Season for NSW. She picked up 21 wickets in the tournament at an average of 13.1 including 4/33 in the final. She also walked away being the leading Thunder wicket-taker in the WBBL with 79 wickets.
For Sydney Sixers, Marizanne Kapp was named their WBBL 05 Player of the Tournament for scoring 232 runs and picking 15 wickets. She scored the runs at an average of 33 while her bowling average was 20.2.
Another teenager Phoebe Litchfield received the Alex Blackwell Award as NSW Country Female Player of the Season. She made headlines when she struck an unbeaten 52 against Brisbane Heat to steer Thunder to a win. She carried on that confidence into the WNCL, where she scored 252 runs at an average of 42.