Two new awards will be on offer at Monday night's Allan Border Medal night celebrating Australia's best female talent. Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association have worked together to introduce two new awards for the 2017 awards night, the Betty Wilson Young Player of the Year Award and the Domestic Player of the Year award.
The new awards join the longstanding Belinda Clark Award, introduced 16 years ago, which recognises Australia's top female international cricketer of the year. The Domestic Player of the Year Award will be awarded at the outstanding cricketer across the Women's National Cricket League and the Rebel Women's Big Bash league during the award period, which runs from 5 December 2015 to 4 December last year.
The Betty Wilson Young Player of the Year Award, named in honour of one of Australia's greatest allrounders, will be awarded a player aged 24 years of younger who had played 10 or fewer matches before 5 December 2015. Voting takes into account performances in the WNCL, WBBL as well as at international level. Both awards are voted for by Australian-based international, state and WBBL-contracted players, gathered and tallied by the ACA, with players unable to vote for a player of their own State.
"It is fantastic to have these new awards announced for the 2017 Allan Border Medal awards night, which provide the entire cricketing community more opportunity to recognise and celebrate the performances of the incredible women who play our game," Cricket Australia Head of Female Engagement, Sarah Styles said.
"For each major initiative tailored towards increasing the appeal of cricket to women and girls, such as the Big Bash League, the WBBL and more recently with the Growing Cricket For Girls Fund, there are countless seen and unseen changes Australian Cricket is taking to ensure cricket a sport for all. These new awards are another example of this."
Australian Cricketers' Association Manager of Female Operations Jodie Fields said the new awards would serve as a well-deserved recognition of the domestic female game in Australia.
"The introduction of these awards is something that is extremely important to all players, and represents a fantastic opportunity to further celebrate female players at the Allan Border Medal awards night," the former Australian captain said.
The 2017 Allan Border Medal will be held on Monday night at The Star, Sydney.