Graham wins home participant award | –

Home Participant of the 12 months: Heather Graham

Allrounder Heather Graham has lengthy been earmarked as a possible future Australian participant and if her newest achievement is something to go by, a world call-up is probably not too far-off for the Western Australian.

The 22-year-old pace-bowling allrounder trumped a bunch of worldwide stars to be topped the Ladies’s Home Participant of the 12 months on the Australian Cricket Awards in Melbourne on Monday evening.

Graham was acknowledged for performances for WA and the Perth Scorchers throughout a voting interval that encompassed the whole thing of the 2017-18 Insurgent WBBL season, alongside the top of final summer season’s Ladies’s Nationwide Cricket League and the primary two rounds of this season.

Graham’s large restoration after dropped catch

Voted for by the gamers, Graham collected 29 per cent of the vote to ballot forward of Australia allrounder Ellyse Perry (22 per cent) – whose heroics within the not too long ago accomplished WBBL season fell outdoors the voting interval – and batter Elyse Villani (14 per cent).

Throughout that point Graham scored 481 runs at 30-06, whereas additionally selecting up 32 wickets at 19.94, with an economic system price of 79.37, with highlights together with scoring 43no towards Victoria and taking 4-31 towards Queensland to assist WA attain the WNCL closing final summer season.

And he or she took that type with the bat to a different stage early on this summer season’s 50-over competitors, scoring 60, 70, 101 and 52 throughout the primary 4 matches of the season, whereas additionally gathering 10 wickets.

Graham bats for Western Australia in the WNCL // AAP
Graham bats for Western Australia within the WNCL // AAP

Australia captain Meg Lanning, who has had a first-hand take a look at Graham’s expertise on the Scorchers throughout the final two summers, has been impressed by what she’s seen.

“There’s little doubt she’s very proficient,’ Lanning instructed Direct Hit.

“She’s very skilful as nicely and the great factor is, she’s in all probability bought three points to her sport that may actually assist a workforce win.

“Her bowling in all probability was the standout (in the latest WBBL season) however I additionally assume her batting could be very harmful at instances.

“She’s at all times been somebody who hits the ball and desires to attain runs and I believe that is a extremely necessary a part of it, so hopefully she continues to enhance.”

Australia will identify their ODI squad to play New Zealand in three matches starting on February 22 later this week, and whereas breaking into the No.1 ranked workforce will not be a simple process for Graham, her resume up to now is nicely worthy of consideration by selectors.

She debuted for Western Australia aged 15, has already toured abroad with Australia A and was a part of the Nationwide Efficiency Squad which spent eight weeks coaching at Brisbane’s Bupa Nationwide Cricket Centre final winter.

It was that point in Queensland that allowed Graham to not solely grow to be the fittest she’s ever been, but additionally to develop new areas of her sport in the course of the preseason – specifically, engaged on her batting approach with NPS coach Leah Poulton.

That toil paid off throughout WBBL|04, when she topped the wickets tally – selecting up 22 scalps at 16.95 – whereas additionally hanging 161 runs.

Graham stars with bat, then ball

In earlier years, Graham’s coaching and different cricket commitments needed to be juggled alongside her part-time job working for a concreting firm.

However now, due to a brand new pay deal that has elevated wages for Australia’s feminine home gamers, she’s been capable of dedicate herself full-time to cricket – and it appears to be paying off.

“It is given me a lot extra time to have the ability to deal with cricket,” Graham instructed within the lead-up to the 2018-19 season.

“And if you’re away from cricket, not having to consider what you have to do at work, working was fairly draining for me so simply specializing in cricket has given me much more freedom.

“And it means I am feeling loads happier about my sport.”

CommBank ODIs v NZ 

February 22: First ODI, WACA Ground, Perth

February 24: Second ODI, Karen Rolton Oval, Adelaide

March 3: Third ODI, Junction Oval, Melbourne

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