Australia vice-captain and New South Wales batter Rachael Haynes has been named as the inaugural WNCL Captains' MVP winner.
Haynes had an incredible 2017-18 WNCL season, making 258 runs at an average of 119.33, helping New South Wales to its 19th championship.
“It was pretty exciting to receive the news (about the Captains' MVP Award).
“To be nominated for an award by your peers is fantastic, but to be nominated by the leaders of our game, including the opposition Captains, is a huge honour.”
The award caps off an excellent summer for Haynes.
After captaining Australia to victory in the Ashes, the 31-year-old would go on to continue her form on the domestic front, earning selection in both the WBBL and WNCL player-voted teams of the year.
“The WNCL is one of the best domestic competitions in the world.”
“The standard of the cricket is really high which means you really get to develop your skills in a tough environment.”
“It is vital that domestic cricket in Australia is strong because it means we then have a strong national team.”
The past year has been somewhat of a renaissance for Haynes, who returned to the Australian set up following a four-year absence.
Her consistent domestic form was rewarded with selection for Australia’s tour of New Zealand in early 2017, representing Australia for the first time since 2013.
Haynes would go on to captain Australia for the first time at the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup in the absence of Meg Lanning, continuing to lead the side throughout Australia’s triumphant Ashes campaign.
“If you had of told me 12-18 months ago what would have happened over the past year, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Haynes said.
“As an athlete, you go through a lot of highs and lows, but for me right now I’m enjoying this part of my career and it is translating in to performances.
“I came in to the Australian summer striking the ball really well and managed to carry that momentum throughout the summer.”
Haynes has been named as the vice-captain of Australia’s tour of India which commences with the first ODI in Vadodara on 12 March 2018.
“I was really relaxed about my batting coming in to the summer and I am really keen to carrying that in to the tour of India.
“We have a number of younger players on this tour which is quite exciting and you can feed off their enthusiasm.
“For me, I am looking forward to getting back to India having not been there for a few years.
“I enjoy the whole experience in such a diverse and contrasting environment.
“And I think it is a great time to be part of the Australian side.”