Villani, Darlington bag honours at Cricket Australia State Awards

Hannah Darlington, Elyse Villani © Getty Images

Victoria star batter Elyse Villani was named as the Women’s National Cricket League Player of the Year for her incredible performance with the bat this season at the Cricket Australia State Awards for 2021.

Villani played a crucial role in taking the Victoria team to the final of the WNCL 2021, scoring 611 runs in nine matches at 87.28, including three centuries and two half-centuries.

Perth Scorchers skipper and New Zealand superstar Sophie Devine won the Women’s Big Bash League Player of the Year award. The allrounder made 460 runs at an average of 51.11 and a strike rate of 126.37 while taking six wickets in the 12 matches she played this season.

She, along with Beth Mooney, played a significant part in taking the Scorchers to the semifinal, in which they lost to the Meg Lanning led Melbourne Stars.

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New South Wales and Sydney Thunder pacer Hannah Darlington was named as the Lord’s Taverners Indigenous Cricketer of the Year. Darlington was one of the biggest limelights of the domestic season.

She took 19 wickets for the Thunder and helped them win the title in the final against the Stars. Her death-overs bowling was one of the biggest talking points of the tournament.

For the New South Wales Breakers, she played six matches and took four wickets, operating at an economy of 5.14. She also became the youngest captain of NSW Breakers in the absence of the senior players.

Western Australia and Queensland were joint winners of the Benaud Spirit of Cricket Award for the 2020-21 season.

Speaking about the award winners, CA Head of Cricket Operations Peter Roach said that the players, coaches, support staff, match officials and administration came together to ensure that the competitive domestic competitions went through amidst challenges posed by the pandemic.

“Across Australia, we have seen many of our international stars playing more domestic cricket than they have for some time, competing against our up-and-coming and established talent, with some players bursting through to demand inclusion in national teams as a result of their 2020-21 performances. I congratulate all award winners,” he concluded.