Alexandra Joy Blackwell
August 31, 1983, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales
Right hand bat
Right arm medium
A solid, unshowy middle-order batsman, Blackwell made her senior domestic debut as a bowling allrounder for New South Wales in 2001-02, but it was not until the following season that she really announced herself as a batsman with a maiden half-century against Victoria.
An international debut followed in early 2003 in an ODI versus England but Blackwell, down to come in at No. 6, was not required to bat as Australia romped to victory by seven wickets. Further opportunities were just around the corner and in February 2003 she played her first significant international innings: 58 off 236 balls, in the drawn second Women's Ashes Test, as Australia took the series 1-0. In 2005 she was part of the team that won the Women's World Cup in South Africa.
Back on the domestic circuit, the period from 2005-06 saw an unprecedented spell of dominance from New South Wales, winning the WNCL for 10 straight seasons, with Blackwell perhaps the key player throughout that time - captaining the side from 2010 onwards, and averaging above 50 for five consecutive seasons between 2008-09 and 2012-13, then again in 2014-15 and 2015-16.
In 2010 an injury to regular Australia skipper Jodie Fields led to Blackwell standing in as captain for the Women's World T20 in the West Indies. Blackwell scored 61 as Australia beat India in the semi-final to qualify for the final against New Zealand. In the final, Blackwell herself was caught for a duck as Australia made a below-par 106 for 8; but she made up for it with an outstanding performance in the field, taking catches to dismiss opposing skipper Aimee Watkins and the dangerous Rachel Priest, and running out Sara McGlashan, as New Zealand fell short.
Returning to the ranks (though later officially appointed vice-captain) Blackwell went on to win two more Women's World T20 medals in 2012 and 2014 and a further World Cup in India in 2013. By the end of the Women's World T20 in India in 2016, she had racked-up more than 4500 international runs, with three centuries and 26 fifties, becoming Australia's most-capped women player along the way.
Though there was disappointment early in the 2015-16 season, as New South Wales failed to win the WNCL for the first time in a decade, the Women's Big Bash League was to provide more glory for Blackwell as she captained Sydney Thunder in the newly formed competition. Blackwell scored over 400 runs in the tournament, at an average of 46, as the Thunder qualified for the knockout stages in first place. She then top-scored, with 39 off 41 balls, as they knocked Perth Scorchers out in the semi-final stages; then made 30 off 23 balls in the low-scoring final, as the Thunder beat Sydney Sixers to see Blackwell become the first women to lift the trophy.
Blackwell was brought up in Griffith, New South Wales, alongside her twin sister Kate, who also went on to earn over 50 caps for Australia in the 2000s.
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