Press Release: Cricket Australia
Ashleigh Gardner and Tess Flintoff have been recognised for their outstanding seasons by taking out the Weber WBBL’s two major individual honours.
Gardner, the Sydney Sixers all-rounder, has been awarded the Weber WBBL|08 Player of the Tournament after a career-best season, while Melbourne Stars’ prodigy Flintoff has been named the Weber WBBL|08 Young Gun.
WBBL|08 Player of the Tournament: Ashleigh Gardner
In a star-studded Sixers outfit, Gardner compiled the most complete season of her WBBL career. Her match-winning contributions with bat and ball were recognised by the standing umpires at each match, who vote for the Player of the Tournament award.
Reprising her role this campaign as one of the League’s best power hitters, Gardner smashed 339 runs at 30.81 apiece to sit fifth on the WBBL|08 run scoring chart.
Of the 31 players to surpass 200 runs for the campaign, Gardner’s strike rate of 153.39 was the highest, while she also hit a League best 14 sixes.
This was matched by her influence with the ball, claiming 23 wickets with her off spin to finish as the joint BKT Golden Arm winner with Adelaide Strikers quick Megan Schutt.
That haul was more than double her previous benchmark of 11 in a season and included new career-best figures of 4-23 against the Hobart Hurricanes, while she was one of just three players to take multiple 4+ wicket hauls.
Gardner took out the Player of the Tournament award with 33 votes, eight clear of Brisbane Heat's Amelia Kerr on 25 votes with the Perth Scorchers' Beth Mooney and Adelaide Strikers' Megan Schutt tied for third with 21 votes each.
WBBL|08 Player of the Tournament top 10:
Ashleigh Gardner, Sydney Sixers, 33 votes
Amelia Kerr, Brisbane Heat, 25
Beth Mooney, Perth Scorchers, 21
Megan Schutt, Adelaide Strikers, 21
Ellyse Perry, Sydney Sixers, 20
Heather Graham, Hobart Hurricanes, 18
Alyssa Healy, Sydney Sixers, 18
Mignon du Preez, Hobart Hurricanes, 18
Annabel Sutherland, Melbourne Stars, 16
Hayley Matthews, Melbourne Renegades, 16
WBBL|08 Young Gun: Tess Flintoff
Australia’s National Selection Panel has nominated Flintoff, the 19-year-old all-rounder, as the outstanding young player from this season.
Despite her age, Weber WBBL|08 was Flintoff’s fourth in Stars’ green, and in it came her most memorable performance to date.
The rising star set a new WBBL record for the fastest half-century, smashing 51 from 16 deliveries to set up a convincing victory over the Strikers on November 2.
Her six fours and three sixes – including one to bring up the record on the final ball of the innings – saw Flintoff surpass the previous marker of 22 balls held jointly by Gardner and Lizelle Lee.
Her 116 runs for the year in seven innings came at a strike rate of 165.71, while four wickets and exceptional athleticism in the field were also a sign of her potential.
Alistair Dobson, Cricket Australia’s General Manager of Big Bash Leagues, said:
“The League congratulates Ashleigh Gardner and Tess Flintoff on their outstanding Weber WBBL|08 seasons.
“Both have demonstrated exceptional skill, athleticism and power on the field and are fantastic role models off it. Additionally, both have set new benchmarks for their peers to aspire to reach next season, demonstrating the quality of the WBBL.
“While we look forward to seeing Tess in Stars colours next season, we wait with anticipation to see who Ashleigh and the Sixers will face in Saturday’s Final at North Sydney Oval."