06/12/2023

Elyse Villani and Travis Head are the 2021 domestic cricketers of the year. (Images: CricInfo; West End Redbacks/Twitter)

After a challenging year which saw plenty of sacrifices made to keep domestic cricket competitions running, the 2022 award recipients have been named.

In these difficult and trying times, a lot of effort has been placed into making sure our domestic cricket competitions are able to persevere through difficult circumstances.

Thankfully, cricket fans were still able to support their local teams with W/BBL, Sheffield Shield, Marsh Cup and WNCL competitions remaining in action.

Despite all of the chaos of postponements and re-scheduling caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, some cricketers have been able to thrive in trying conditions.

Here are the best domestic and young cricketers of 2022:

Female Domestic Cricketer of the Year – Elyse Villani

Victoria, Tasmania, and Melbourne Stars

The illustrious career of Elyse Villani must once again be recognised, as she becomes the first ever female to be awarded the female domestic cricketer of the year twice, achieving the feat in consecutive years.

Her contributions to women’s domestic white ball cricket has been nothing short of elite, and whilst she hasn’t contributed as much for Tasmania in her two matches for them, her 2020/21 WNCL campaign was outstanding.

“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,” Villani said in response to receiving the award.

Villani was the only player to score more than 600 runs throughout that season, helping Victoria reach the final.

Additionally, Villani was the fourth highest run scorer in this season’s WBBL competition, with 439 runs at an average of 43.9.

“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 said.

“I am fortunate to play the sport I love for a living and am grateful to play alongside amazing teammates for incredible organisations, I feel lucky and humbled.”

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Male Domestic Cricketer of the Year – Travis Head

South Australia and Adelaide Strikers

Travis Head’s ability has become common knowledge throughout the cricketing world, especially now that he’s performing well for Australia once again.

His promotion back to the Australian squad comes off the back of a tremendous year for South Australia. Head recorded 893 in the 2020/21 Sheffield Shield season, the second highest of any player, with an average of 68.69 runs.

Head was also the second highest run scorer in both the 2020/21 and 2021/22 Marsh Cup seasons, combining 582 runs at an average of 64.66.

“I am honoured to receive this award and thank Cricket Australia and SACA for the opportunity to play cricket at the highest levels,” Head said on receiving the honour.

“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.
 
“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.”

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Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year – Darcie Brown

South Australia and Adelaide Strikers

At just 18 years of age, prepare to see and hear the name of Darcie Brown for years to come. The teenage fast bowler has rapid pace and will only get better.

Already representing Australia at such a young age, it comes on the back of performing so well in the domestic competitions.

In WBBL|11, Brown was the third highest wicket-taker for competition. With 20 wickets, her tally puts her only behind Amanda-Jade Wellington (23 wickets) and Jess Jonassen (21 wickets).

“I’m really honoured to have won the Betty Wilson award, it is such a special award, especially being voted by my peers,” Brown said upon accepting her award.
 
“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.”

Brown was able to capture her first test wicket in the 2022 Women’s Ashes series at Manuka on Friday.

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Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year – Tim Ward

Tasmania

The meteoric rise of Tim Ward in first-class cricket has perhaps gone quite unnoticed, but there’s no doubting that Tasmania certainly has one to keep an eye on for the future.

Not many, if any, would have predicted that at the halfway point of the competition, the 23-year-old from Wahroonga would be the leading run scorer.

Ward, averaging 51.88, has 467 runs so far, including three 50s and a century to his name. He’s no doubt one to look forward to when the Sheffield shield season returns.

“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,” Ward said.
 
“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.”

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