Bowlers Black, Duffy take major prizes at Otago awards

Otago’s Emma Black bowls to Auckland’s Izzy Gaze at the University Oval earlier this season....
Otago’s Emma Black bowls to Auckland’s Izzy Gaze at the University Oval earlier this season. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
The bowlers claimed the major prizes at the Otago Cricket Awards last night.

Swing bowler Emma Black was named Sparks cricketer of the year and seamer Jacob Duffy claimed the Volts crown.

Black had a tremendous summer in blue and gold. No matter the format, the 22-year-old right-armer got her in-duckers on target.

She snaffled a competition-high 24 wickets at an average of 11.58 in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield — including three in the final against Wellington — to help her side claim the title.

Black (13 wickets at 16.62) had a solid T20 campaign too.

Her achievements were recognised at the top level. She was named women’s domestic player of the year and collected the Phyl Blackler Cup for women’s domestic bowling following her sterling run.

Black also collected the Sparks bowler of the year award to go with her player of the year title.

Duffy has been the mainstay of the Volts’ red ball attack for years and he had another fine season.

He grabbed 31 wickets at 24.42 in Plunket Shield. Only Wellington’s Nathan Smith (33 at 17.18) took more first-class wickets.

Duffy’s returns in the Ford Trophy (12 at 29.67) and Super Smash (10 at 17.20) were very decent.

Duffy was yesterday named in the Black Caps T20 squad for the tour of Pakistan alongside his Volts team-mate, Dean Foxcroft.

Foxcroft had a quieter season for Otago this summer but collected the Super Smash Volts player of the year

All-rounder Luke Georgeson had a breakthrough season in the Ford Trophy. February, in particular, was kind to the 24-year-old. He nabbed two five-wicket bags and scored a century.

He was named the Volts’ best in that competition and was also declared the players’ player of the year.

Dale Phillips was named Volts batter of the year and Plunket Shield player of the year. He hit some rich form later in the season, stroking a couple of centuries. He also collected the fielding award.

Thorn Parkes was named rising star. He was the best of the Otago batters in the Ford Trophy.

Suzie Bates was named Sparks Super Smash player of the year, while Polly Inglis claimed the fielding award and Caitlin Blakely took home the batter of the year award.

Blakely’s knock of 50 in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield final was critical. Inglis and Felicity Robertson both scored more than 300 runs during the campaign and would have been strong contenders for the title as well.

Otago Country umpire James Blunt was named official of the year.

Kaikorai’s Mark Ranby claimed the volunteer of the year award for his work with the junior club.

Wanaka’s Blayne Wegener was named community coach of the year, and North Otago’s Phil Martin and North East Valley’s Sheldon Kindley shared the contribution to cricket award for their work at the grassroots level.

 - Sparks spinner Sophie Oldershaw announced her retirement from professional cricket yesterday.

Oldershaw took 71 wickets in 89 appearances for Otago across both formats.