Marcus North’s prolific season with the bat has been recognised with the West Australian named Sheffield Shield Player of the Year.
North, the leading-run scorer in the competition, polled 19 votes to finish ahead of NSW batsman Ryan Carters and Queensland captain James Hopes (16 votes each). Emerging South Australian batsman Travis Head finished third with 15 votes.
The veteran began the shield season with three centuries and two half-centuries at 117.8 in the first four matches, and finished with 884 runs from nine games.
His top form with the bat was complemented by his right-arm offies which too 12 wickets at 22 apiece, and contributed to lifting his team into the shield final against New South Wales this Friday.
In women’s cricket, the WNCL Player of the Year award was awarded to WA’s Nicole Bolton for the second time running, while Victorian Elyse Villani took home the WT20 Player of the Year award in a landslide.
The WNCL win caps off a year of milestones for Bolton who scored 124 on ODI debut for the Southern Stars against England in January. Bolton finished the first-class WNCL season with 371 runs at 61.8 and 7 wickets at 25.6.
Villani’s dominant season reaped 494 runs at an average of 54.9 from her 12 WT20 matches. She finished 13 votes ahead of second-placed Victorian Meg Lanning to claim the WT20 Player of the Year award.
Rounding out the individual award winners were ACT Comets all-rounder Vele Dukoski (Futures League Player of the Year), WA’s Michael Bailey (Lord’s Taverners Indigenous Cricketer of the Year), and Simon Fry (Cricket Australia Umpire Award, who will umpire in Friday’s Shield match following his recent officiating at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in the UAE).
Earlier in the season, Cameron White was named One-Day Cup Player of the Year after hitting five consecutive half-centuries at 77.40, and Ben Dunk was awarded the T20 Big Bash League Player of the Tournament after finishing as the leading run-scorer with 348 runs.
Meanwhile, Western Australia was awarded the Benaud Men’s Spirit of Cricket Award, while Victoria took home the Benaud Women’s Spirit of Cricket Award.
The Benaud Spirit of Cricket Awards are decided by umpire votes and recognise State cricket teams which have best played in the spirit of the game in recognition that elite cricket should be played hard but fair.