With your hosts… Raf Nicholson and Syd Egan!
Best Batting Performance: Sophie Luff
For her 152* for Bath in the National Club Final
Luff might have faced an understrength Meakins side with an average age of just 16, but you can only play what they put in front of you, and her towering performance showed a player truly in command of the crease and her game, both physically and mentally. Were we witnessing the coming-of-age of the next-but-one England captain? You read it here first!
Best Bowling Performance: Daisy Gardner
For her hat-trick for Berkshire v Sussex in the Women’s County Championship
Heather Knight might have put Sussex on the back foot with her 162* but it was Daisy Gardner who broke them, dismissing England Academy batsman Georgia Adams and Paige Scholfield, bisected by the wicket of a certain Sarah Taylor – bowled for a golden duck – as the Berkshire Bullet took her first ever hat-trick in 10 years at the top level of the women’s county game.
Best Supporting Role: Didsbury WCC and Lanky the Giraffe
For their mammoth trip around the country during the Women’s Ashes
Canterbury is approximately 265 miles from Manchester, but that didn’t stop the girls from Didsbury WCC making the trip down the M6 for all four days of the Ashes Test, plus the Chelmsford and Hove Twenty20s. Complete with England flag, a special song devoted to Lancashire’s Kate Cross, and an inflatable giraffe with its own arm bands, they were impossible to miss – and why would you want to? CRICKETher for one are looking forward to seeing the #DidsburyBarmyArmy again in 2016!
Best Screenplay: Sky
For televising the Canterbury Test
While England fans might have hoped for a different result, there’s no doubt that the broadcasting of the entire Ashes series added to the excitement of the summer. The pinnacle was the live ball-by-ball coverage of Canterbury, as Sky made history by becoming the first ever broadcaster to show a women’s Test match from beginning to end in its entirety. Hats off to them for bringing women’s Test cricket to a bigger audience.
Horror of the Year: Surrey
For their 25 all out v Middlesex in the County T20 Competition
County T20 triple-headers can be long days, but Surrey seemed just a little too keen to get home on this occasion, as in their last match of the day at Merchant Taylors’ back in August they collapsed to 25 all out in the space of 13 overs. CRICKETher were there to watch as Aussie quick Julie Hunter ripped through the Surrey top-order, who barely troubled the scorers. It later transpired to be the lowest total a side has ever made in the competition. Toe-curling stuff.
Best Writing: Mel Farrell
For her report (here) on the Women’s Cricket Super League
A perfectly pitched piece which blends positivity and scepticism as it compares the WCSL to an impressionist masterpiece that “dazzles upon first glance” but is “transformed into a myriad of indistinct dots and dashes when examined up close.”
Best Song: Graham Barber
Lords might traditionally have its bell to signal the start of play, but everyone knows that at an England Women’s Test – from Wormsley, to the WACA, to everywhere in-between – the day doesn’t really begin until “Big G” – our one-man Barmy Army – has sung Jerusalem; reminding the players that they aren’t just playing Test cricket… they’re playing Test cricket for England.
Life-Time Achievement Award: Holly Colvin
Despite a successful comeback for Sussex – she was the leading wicket-taker in county cricket in 2015, with 31 victims and a best of 5-33 – 2015 was the year Holly decided to move on; taking a management role at the ICC in Dubai and saying farewell to a playing career in which she had basically achieved everything before the age of 20 – Ashes winner (in 2005), World Cup winner (2009) and World T20 winner (also 2009).
Holly will go down in history as the youngest person (male or female) ever to play Test cricket for England – a record which will probably never be broken now the women’s game has entered the professional era – and more importantly she’ll go down in our hearts as one of the most loved players of our era. So long “Trolley”… and thanks for all the wickets!