NZC to introduce Debbie Hockley Medal to honour top female cricketers
It will be the women's equivalent of the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for the outstanding male cricketer of the year
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is introducing the Debbie Hockley Medal at this year's annual awards ceremony, to honour the outstanding female cricketer of the year. The medal will be the women's equivalent of the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for the outstanding male cricketer of the year, and will be a regular feature at the NZC's annual awards. This year's awards will be held on March 23 in Auckland. Hockley herself will present the new award on the night.
Hockley played 118 ODIs and 19 Tests for New Zealand from 1979 to 2000. She was regarded among the best batters across two decades in the 1980s and 1990s and is considered a pioneer of the women's game. She is the only woman to win the New Zealand Cricketer-of-the-Year award, in 1998, 13 years before the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal was introduced.
"I feel honoured, personally, of course - but also thrilled that the country's outstanding women's cricketer of the year will be recognised on an annual and ongoing basis," Hockley said. "It's been wonderful to watch the progress of the women's game in New Zealand over the past five or six years and this is another very positive development.
"Women's cricket is going from strength to strength; the growth at all levels has been amazing.
"I'm looking forward to presenting this award to the inaugural recipient in March."
Hockley was the fourth woman to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, in 2013, after Australia's Belinda Clark and England's Enid Bakewell and Rachael Heyhoe-Flint.
Hockley held several records during her playing and captaincy days. She became the second-youngest captain in a woman's Test at the age of 21, she is still the format's fourth-highest run-scorer and the highest for New Zealand, she finished her Test career with an average of 52.04, scored the joint-second-most Test centuries (four), and scored ODI hundreds in consecutive innings, among a host of records.
Hockley scored over 4000 ODI runs while averaging nearly 42, including four centuries. She was the first woman to cross 4000 ODI runs, and also the first to play 100 ODIs.
She was the first woman to be elected NZC president.