Beth Mooney’s outstanding year of cricket in 2020 was recognised over the weekend, as she was named the recipient of the Belinda Clark Award at the Australian Cricket Awards.
The award acknowledges her as the best Australian women’s player of the past year – a well-deserved accolade after also being named player of the tournament at the T20 World Cup last March.
Mooney received 60 votes from players, team officials, media and umpires to win the Belinda Clark Award, coming in ahead of captain Meg Lanning, who received 58 votes, and Georgia Wareham on 50 votes.
With the award under her belt, Mooney is now the first player outside of high-profile teammates Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry and Alyssa Healy to win the award since 2013.
Mooney said it was “pretty surreal” to be named alongside these teammates.
“We’ve got some players within the Australian side at the moment who will be remembered for a long time as some of the best we’ve ever produced and to be playing alongside them, let alone being up on an honour roll next to them for winning this award, is a pretty surreal thing,” Mooney said.
For many, Mooney’s most memorable moment in cricket last year came during the T20 World Cup final against India, where she scored 78 not out from 54 balls. In front of a packed crowd at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Mooney’s contribution was vital to Australia’s win over India.
During that World Cup tournament, Mooney scored the most runs of any player, totalling 259. She also hit the most fours of any player and took the most catches in the field.
In October last year, Mooney told Women’s Agenda about her decision to quit a teaching degree in 2014 to pursue a career in cricket full time. At the time, she had no idea if the decision would pay off. And for most of her life, she had thought there wasn’t a way for her to make a living in cricket.
“I wouldn’t have forgiven myself either if I didn’t give myself a red-hot crack at trying to make it to the top of cricket,” she says.
Meanwhile, Rachael Haynes was named the Women’s ODI Player of the Year and cricket legend Lisa Sthalekar was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
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