Teenage batting sensation, Phoebe Litchfield was named New South Wales’ female country player of the 2019-20 season. The left-hander, who enjoyed a remarkable start to her Women’s Big Bash League and Women’s National Cricket League careers for Sydney Thunder and New South Wales (NSW) respectively, was awarded the Alex Blackwell medal earlier this month.
In only her second match in the WBBL, Litchfield struck an unbeaten half-century to take Thunder over the line in a tricky chase against Brisbane Heat. She advanced down the track to the spinners, and confidently punched the quicks down the ground, showing maturity well beyond her years. She was one of Thunder’s bright spots in what was an otherwise disappointing season.
In the WNCL as well, the 16-year-old scored 252 runs at an average of 42, including an unbeaten 82 against Australian Capital Territory in another tough chase.
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On the back of these impressive performances, Litchfield was selected in the Australia A T20 squad for the series against India A, and the Governor-General’s XI in January. For the GG XI against India, the left-hander played another impressive innings, tonking two sixes off the bowling of Radha Yadav at the back end of the innings to take her team to what – at that point – looked like an unlikely victory.
To cap off what was an incredible season, the 16-year-old was also part of the Bushfire Bash, getting a chance to bat alongside Brian Lara and Ricky Ponting.
In other news, Naomi McDonald was named Best Female Player for NSW Country at the Country Championships. The top-order batter finished the competition as the leading run-scorer with 256 runs in the T20 matches at an average of 32.
2019/20 NSW Country Cricket Award Winners:
Alex Blackwell Award – NSW Female Country Player of the Year: Phoebe Litchfield (Western)
Best Female Player at Country Championships: Naomi McDonald (North Coastal)