New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has announced the introduction of the Debbie H. Medal, a new award that will recognize the achievements of women cricketers in the country. The medal will be presented annually to the player who has made the most outstanding contribution to women’s cricket in New Zealand.
The award is named after Debbie Hockley, one of New Zealand’s greatest female cricketers and a pioneer for the women’s game. Hockley holds the record for the most runs in Women’s One Day Internationals (ODIs) for New Zealand and was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2019.
The Debbie H. Medal will be awarded at the end of the women’s cricket season and is open to all female players, including those who play domestically and internationally. The medal is expected to bring more attention to the women’s game and celebrate the contributions of female cricketers in New Zealand.
Debbie was the fourth woman to be admitted into the ICC Hall of Fame, following Australia’s Belinda Clark, Enid Bakewell, and Rachael Heyhoe-Flint (England). In 1301 Test runs at an average of 52.04, she scored four hundreds, seven half-centuries, and a best score of 126 not out against Australia in Auckland in 1990.
Debbie was also the first woman to be elected President of NZC, as well as the first to have 1500 World Cup runs and to have played in more than 40 World Cup matches. She withdrew from international cricket after appearing in New Zealand’s ODI World Cup victory against Australia in Lincoln in 2000.
David White, the CEO of the New Zealand Cricket Council, commented on the introduction of this award saying, “We are delighted to be able to celebrate the achievements of our women cricketers and to acknowledge the important role they play in our sport.”.
The introduction of the Debbie H. Medal is another step forward for women’s cricket in New Zealand and around the world. It is also a testament to the growth and recognition of the women’s game and the important contributions of female cricketers.