MELBOURNE: Cricket Australia on Friday named pacer Darcie Brown as Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year.
CA and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) have announced the winners of the peer-voted Domestic and Young Cricketer of the Year Awards.
Eighteen-year-old Darcie Brown's rise to one of the most exciting fast-bowling talents in cricket has been meteoric.
Brown completed her High School Certificate during the Women's Big Bash League, 06 hub in October 2020 and produced outstanding performances in her debut season to announce herself as a future star.
"I'm really honoured to have won the Betty Wilson award, it is such a special award, especially being voted by my peers," said Darcie Brown in an official statement.
"I've loved the opportunities I've had to play for Australia and wouldn't have been able to do so without support from my family and friends, and my teammates and coaches who have been able to push me to improve and help me enjoy my cricket," she added.
Meanhwile, Tim Ward was named as Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year. This award is a testament to his high level of persistence and the strength of Premier Cricket in Australia.
Playing for Sydney Premier Cricket Club Parramatta, the 23-year-old continually knocked on the door for higher honours before an opportunity presented itself in Tasmania. Ward's six matches in the Marsh Sheffield Shield since debuting in April 2021 have drawn 506 runs at an average of 46, including a maiden century against Queensland and three half-centuries.
"Eighteen months ago, if you told me I'd win this award, I wouldn't have believed you. It's been quite surprising how fast I think I've grown as a cricketer since coming down to Tasmania and I'm honoured to receive the award," said Tim Ward.
"It means so much to win this award but when it's voted by the players it's extra special. Eighteen months ago, most of them wouldn't have known who I was. So for them to vote for me, it means a lot," he added.
Male Domestic Player of the Year - Travis Head: As evidenced by his destructive, match-defining innings in the recent Vodafone Ashes series, South Australia captain Travis Head has used the domestic competition to lay the platform for success at the international level.
Through 12 matches in the voting period, Head plundered 902 runs at an average of 50.1, with included three centuries, including a mammoth 223 in a Marsh One-Day Cup match against Queensland in October.
"I am honoured to receive this award and thank Cricket Australia and SACA for the opportunity to play cricket at the highest levels. Things like this are not possible without the hard work of teammates and coaches and I am extremely grateful to everyone who has helped me both on and off the field," said Travis Head.
"I'd also like to thank the ACA for their help during the year, and for this award voted for by my peers. Domestic cricket in Australia is in a very strong position, something shown by our recent performances on the world stage. I love representing South Australia and hope to do so for many more years to come," he added.
Female Domestic Player of the Year - Elyse Villani: She becomes the first woman to win this award in consecutive seasons after a sensational 12 months.
The 32-year-old enjoyed an incredible run of form during the voting period and finished with five centuries and four half-centuries as she piled on 1,050 runs at an average of 61.8 across 24 matches.
Her unmatched output in the WNCL helped Victoria host the Final, while Villani also led the run scoring for the Melbourne Stars in WBBL|07.
"I feel privileged to be awarded the Female Domestic Player of the Year, to know that it is a peer voted award makes it really special and something I hold close," said Villani.
"Thank you to the girls I've played with and against in the past year, the competitions we play in get better each year and it's amazing to see the development of women's cricket, thank you for your efforts over the past season, particularly in trying circumstances," she added.