O’Brien and Doolan big winners at Cricket Wellington Awards

BLACKCAPS and State Wellington Firebirds pace bowler Iain O’Brien and State Wellington Blaze and White Ferns all-rounder Lucy Doolan won the top awards at Cricket Wellington’s end of season awards evening.

O’Brien was won the overall Wellington Men’s Cricketer of the Year award and Doolan took out the overall Women’s honours in the Norwood Awards held at the Allied Nationwide Finance Basin Reserve.

Both players also won the respective Men’s and Women’s Best Bowling awards.

O'Brien says the Men's Cricketer of the Year award is a great honour: I've just been blown away with what I have achieved and this award means a lot to me."

"It's been an awesome summer that I couldn't have scripted any better," he added.

The award is the culmination of an outstanding season for O’Brien, taking 59 international wickets including 40 in 11 Tests against England, Bangladesh, Australia, the West Indies and India and a best innings bowling return of 6 for 75 against the West Indies in Napier in December 2008.

In nine One Day-Internationals in February and March 2009 against Australia and India he took 13 wickets. Additionally, he also took six wickets in three Twenty20 internationals against the same opposition. His batting in the final Test of the summer against India in Wellington has also been noted, scoring his highest test score of 19 in the first innings and then equalling that score in the second innings to remain not out at the end and help save the game for New Zealand before the rain arrived.

Lucy Doolan has had an extremely successful summer, being selected for New Zealand in their home Rose Bowl series against Australia and in the team for Sydney that made that reached the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup in March.

She was the Blaze’s leading wicket-taker during the State League one-day competition, taking 20 wickets at an average of 15.20 and she scored the most runs in the Women's State League Twenty20 competition (212 at 53.00). She starred with the bat in the State League Twenty20 final with a match winning 63 off 51 balls to help guide Wellington to its first women’s title in twenty seasons. For the White Ferns in the World Cup final against England, she scored a career best 48 and tool 3 for 23. She has been selected in the White Ferns training squad for the Women’s Twenty20 World Cup in England in June.

Other Norwood Awards winners were:

Men’s outstanding batsman: Jesse Ryder

2008/09 was a breakthrough year in international cricket for the belligerent Ryder, who played in nine Tests throughout the season and scored 771 runs at an average of 55.07 including two centuries, one of which was a double century against India In Napier. In 12 One day Internationals, Ryder scored 476 runs at 47.60 including a maiden century against India, 105, at Christchurch.

Men’s best all rounder: Luke Woodcock

Luke Woodcock deservedly won the best all-rounder’s gong after a fine season for the Firebirds in all three forms of the game. In the State Championship he scored four half centuries and one century and took 16 wickets. He also took 12 wickets in the State Shield and Captured three consecutive three-wicket hauls and added some valuable runs in the middle order in the State Twenty20.

Men’s outstanding fielder: Josh Brodie

In taking five catches in one innings against Otago in round seven, Brodie equalled the mark of five catches in an innings by a Wellington fielder, set by Jack Lamason in 1938/38 and John Morrison in 1980/81.

Women’s outstanding batswoman: Megan Wakefield 

Wakefield was the leading run-scorer for the State Wellington Blaze in the 2008/09 season, amassing 403 runs at an average of 36.63 including a maiden State League one-day century. She also scored 126 runs in the State League Twenty20 and 345 runs in women’s club cricket. She was selected for New Zealand A.

Women’s outstanding fielder: Sophie Devine

The return to the side of Ferns opening bowler Sophie Devine from Canterbury this season played a big reason in the State Wellington Blaze’s success in reaching the final of the State League and winning the State League Twenty20. Blaze coach Mark Borthwick described her as “three players in one” for her batting bowling and fielding.

Umpire of the year:  Evan Watkin 

Evan Watkin received the highest marks throughout the season in club and representative fixtures.

Best and most enterprising captain: Mark Hewson

Petone-Riverside’s Mark Hewson wins this award with an average of 3.77 points per game.

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