28 Sep, Tuesday

Will O'Donnell awarded 20/21 Cricketer of the Year

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Will O’Donnell awarded 20/21 Cricketer of the Year

Praneel HiraFeatured

Last night, Auckland Cricket celebrated the summer of 2020/21 at the Cricketer of the Year Awards. Here are the Award recipients.

To start the evening, newly capped players for the ACES, HEARTS and WHITE FERNS were called to the stage.

ACES First-Class debuts | 2020/21
#524 | Ollie Pringle vs. Otago at Eden Park Outer Oval | 20 October 2020
#525 | Ross ter Braak vs. Northern Districts at Cobham Oval, Whangarei | 12 March 2021
#526 | Cole Briggs vs. Otago at Queens Park, Invercargill | 18 March 2021
#527 | Ryan Harrison vs. Canterbury at Eden Park Outer Oval | 27 March 2021

HEARTS debuts | 2020/21
#270 | Yaz Kareem
vs. Central Districts at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth | 21 November 2020
#271 | Molly Penfold
vs. Central Districts at Pukekura Park, New Plymouth | 21 November 2020

WHITE FERNS debut | 2020/21
#197 | Fran Jonas vs. England at Hagley Oval, Christchurch | 23 February 2021

Throughout the 2020/21 season, New Zealand Cricket has been celebrating our former and current WHITE FERNS through the presentation of caps to recognise the significant achievement of New Zealand representation.

Auckland Cricket celebrates three of our HEARTS players who debuted in an ODI or T20 and were not presented with their cap at the time of debut. We recognize and applaud their achievement, along with the contribution they have made to cricket in New Zealand.

WHITE FERNS caps
#177 | Katie Perkins vs. Australia at North Sydney Oval, Sydney | 20 January 2012
#179 | Anna Peterson vs. England at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln | 1 March 2012
#181 | Holly Huddleston vs. West Indies at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln | 22 February 2014

The award winners for 2020/21 are:

Representative Coach of the Year | Donovan Grobbelaar

This year, Donovan Grobbelaar led the Women’s U19 side to the National Title. In his first year, Donovan passed on his wealth of experience to the group, with five players named in the first-ever NZ Women’s U19 side. Donovan’s work with the HEARTS throughout the season was also held in high regard.

ACES Batter of the Year | Will O’Donnell

Awarded his first contract at the start of the summer, Will O’Donnell has had an impressive first full season with the ACES. Will was particularly dominant in the Ford Trophy, hitting a record seven 50+ scores, including a maiden List-A century against the Wellington Firebirds, to finish as the competition’s leading runscorer with 537 runs from his ten innings. This award is a testament to the consistency Will brought to the top-order in 2020/21, culminating in the final match of the season, when Will scored not only his maiden First-Class century but backed it up with a career-best 137 not out.

HEARTS Batter of the Year | Katie Perkins

Katie Perkins was again the backbone of the HEARTS top order. Katie put together 342 Hallyburton Johnstone Shield runs, playing several trademark knocks to help her side out of trouble. The veteran, who this summer made her 200th appearance for the HEARTS, hit three HBJ Shield fifties, including a fighting 52 in the Grand Final. Perkins also led the way in the Dream11 Super Smash with 290 runs.

Men’s Bowler of the Year | Kyle Jamieson

Kyle Jamieson kicked off the summer of 2020/21 in spectacular style, playing a major role in back-to-back Plunket Shield victories at the Outer Oval. Kyle came roaring out of the gate, claiming five-wicket hauls in the first three matches of the season. The paceman’s golden red-ball summer didn’t stop there, taking that form on International duty to collect a further 27 wickets, including match figures of 11-117 against Pakistan to help seal the BLACKCAPS spot in the Test Championship Final. 

HEARTS Bowler of the Year | Jesse Prasad

 This summer, the HEARTS asked Jesse Prasad to take a greater role with the ball and the medium-pacer did just that, picking up 25 wickets across the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and the Dream11 Super Smash. Jesse became a reliable death bowling option, closing out several tight matches throughout the season, including a must-win match against the Canterbury Magicians, when List-A career-best figures of 3-47 helped the HEARTS book their place in the final.

Young Cricketer of the Year | Fran Jonas

At 17, Fran Jonas continues to make a name for herself  and this year received her first WHITE FERNS call-up. The left-arm spinner has become an integral member of the HEARTS’ attack, often winning key match-ups against the opponent’s best players. This summer, Fran took 21 wickets for the HEARTS, with a new List-A career-best of 4-41 coming in a low-scoring thriller against Northern Districts.

ACES Players’ Player of the Year | Robert O’Donnell
HEARTS Players’ Player of the Year | Katie Perkins

Auckland’s Cricketer of the Year | Will O’Donnell

It was a breakout year for Will O’Donnell. Asked to play a major role in the ACES top order, Will quickly found his feet in the Ford Trophy. The 23-year old’s hunger for runs saw him compile the third-most runs in a 50-Over season for Auckland with 537. The next challenge was to transfer that desire to occupy the crease to the Plunket Shield, which in the last fortnight, Will showed he is ready to take on. Back-to-back First-Class hundreds in this week’s final match against Wellington underlined a remarkable summer for Will.

Auckland Cricket also acknowledged HEARTS who brought up significant milestones throughout the season.

Katie Perkins | 200 Matches for Auckland (50-Over / T20)

One sentence can sum up Katie Perkins’ contribution to Auckland Cricket. Katie has played the most matches for the HEARTS. 

That number currently stands at 210, with 117 50-Over appearances and 93 in the T20 format, dating back to her debut for Auckland on January 3, 2007, against Otago at Carisbrook. Since then, Katie has amassed 4759 runs and taken 84 catches.

Katie epitomises what it means to play with character and determination. Dedicated to her craft, Katie is constantly working to not only lead the HEARTS with the bat but also in the field. Not a match goes by without Katie diving to make her ground, showing the value she puts on her wicket.

Holly Huddleston | 100 50-Over Matches for Auckland

The leader of the attack. 100 50-over matches is no mean feat and in this summer’s HBJ Shield Final, Holly Huddleston became just the 5th HEARTS player to reach the magical mark.

Holly made her 50-Over debut for Auckland on December 5, 2009, against Otago at Queen’s Park, and was at the crease when the HEARTS claimed victory. With 113 50-over wickets and 57 in T20s, Holly is a wicket away from becoming the all-time leading wicket-taker for Auckland. Her 170 scalps has her sitting alongside Natalee Scripps at the top of the wicket-taking mountain.

As the HEARTS spearhead, Holly is the first to put her hand up to bowl the tough overs and you’ll often find Holly closing out an inning with the ball or attempting to rebuild one with the bat. After 15 seasons of domestic cricket, Holly’s desire to keep improving is an example to her teammates. 

Roz McNeill | 100 Matches for Auckland (50-Over / T20)

Every team needs someone like Roz McNeill, a person whose first question will be ‘how can I help?’

While opportunities were limited this summer, Roz made her 100th appearance for Auckland on December 19 against Northern Districts at the Outer Oval. 

Roz debuted on December 2, 2011 against Canterbury at Melville Park in the T20 competition and has gone on to be a part of five successful 50-Over championships as well as one in the T20 format. Through 104 matches, Roz has taken 76 wickets for Auckland, with best bowling figures of 4-20 to help the HEARTS win the 2015/16 50-Over Final against Wellington. 

Roz is the ultimate team player and embodies many of the HEARTS key values, bringing an unmatched energy to the group on and off the field. 

Anna Peterson | 100 Matches for Auckland (50-Over / T20)

There is always something happening when Anna Peterson is in the game. This summer, Anna brought up 100 matches for the HEARTS on January 23 against Central Districts in the Super Smash.

Anna’s match-winning qualities were on show throughout this season’s T20 competition, picking up four Game-Changer awards, most notably helping the HEARTS defend 117 against the Wellington Blaze at the Outer Oval, taking 2-12 and finishing the match with two direct-hit run-outs.

Anna debuted for Auckland against Otago on November 28, 2014, in a convincing eight-wicket win. In Anna’s now 109 matches, the all-rounder has scored 2203 runs and taken 126 wickets for Auckland, as well as captaining the HEARTS to HBJ Shield victory in 2019/20.

This season, Anna twice showed how much playing for the HEARTS means to her, fighting through injury and illness to give all she could to get the team over the line. That commitment extends to welcoming new players to the HEARTS group.