Photo Credit: Twitter Photo of @qldcricket
A season to savour for paceman Michael Neser has had its crowning glory with a near clean-sweep at the Queensland Cricket Awards Gala night at City Hall.
Neser claimed a record fourth Ian Healy Trophy as Queensland player of the year as well as taking out the Bulls’ Marsh Sheffield Shield and Marsh One Day Cup player of the year and Brisbane Heat BBL MVP awards.
The 33-year-old quick was last week announced by Cricket Australia as the National Shield Player of the Year award.
The inaugural Jodie Purves Trophy, named in honour of the former Australian captain and wicket-keeper, was presented to hard-hitting batter Laura Harris.
The trophy is awarded presented to the best female player from votes tallied across the Queensland Fire and WBBL Brisbane Heat seasons.
Harris, who also won the Queensland Fire Players’ Player award, produced several match-defining innings for the Fire and the Heat.
In the WNCL, she set the record for the fastest century of all-time, hammering 100 off just 50 balls against the ACT Meteors. In her 100th WBBL game, she produced the second fastest 50 of all time in the competition as she swept Brisbane to a win over Hobart.
Neser was equally eye-catching across all formats, finishing as the leading wicket-taker for the Bulls in the Shield and One Day competitions and the Heat in the BBL.
His 40 Shield wickets was the most in the regular season with Victoria’s Will Sutherland finishing with 41 after the Shield Final which was won by WA.
In the BBL, he finished as the second leading wicket-taker in the League, with his 26 wickets coming at an economy rate of 8.51. He also scored 141 runs, including a match-winning 48no against the Sixers to put the Heat into the Final.
Neser’s fourth Ian Healy Trophy win takes him clear of former Bulls legends James Hopes and Chris Hartley who each claimed the award on three occasions.
His Bulls fast bowling compatriot Mark Steketee was announced as the inaugural Andrew Symonds Medallist as the Queensland Players’ Player.
The award, named in honour of the former Queensland and Australian allrounder who passed away 12 months ago, was presented to Steketee by Symonds’ mother Barb and his children Chloe and Will.
The Jodie Purves Trophy and Andrew Symonds Medal were among three new awards presented at the evening, with the first ever Pike-Maher Medal also unveiled.
The award, named after former Queensland and Australian players Kirsten Pike and Jimmy Maher, is presented to a Queensland male or female player who has played a major role in creating a positive difference in their communities through charitable and community contributions.
Teenage Queensland leg-spinner Grace Parsons was announced as the inaugural winner for her efforts to assist the Lismore community during last year’s flooding events in the northern NSW regional city where she grew up.
While preparing for a WNCL game, she organised flood clean-up and retrievals during the catastrophic event. In the immediate aftermath, she donated her first Queensland match payment and co-ordinated similar donations from the Fire squad and their opponents South Australia.
Parsons, 19, also took out the Fire player of the year award with a strong first season showing of 15 scalps at an exceptional return of 20.66 and economy rate of 3.78.
New Zealand allrounder Amelia Kerr capped off her welcome return to the Weber Women’s Big Bash League by claiming the WBBL Heat MVP award.
After missing the previous season while having a break from the game, she was a stand-out for the Heat, scoring 243 runs and taking 19 wickets to be the only international player named in the Team of the Tournament.
Former Test batsman Joe Burns was acknowledged for his milestone of playing 100 first class games for his State with the presentation of a portrait painted by acclaimed sports artist Jamie Cooper.
Regional playing talents Sam Lowry (Townsville) and Tarah Staines (Bundaberg) were acknowledged for their performances during 2022-23 by receiving the Queensland Country men’s and women’s player of the year awards.
The QC Volunteer of the Year award was presented to Far North Queensland’s Andrew Guest in appreciation of his efforts in growing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander junior participation in the community of Yarrabah.
He was joined at the dinner by other members of ‘Kaspa’s Crew’, the Queensland Cricket Volunteer Recognition Program that came into existence 20 seasons ago when Queensland and Australian pace bowler Michael Kasprowicz agreed to be the face of the inaugural initiative.
2022-23 Queensland Cricket Award Winners
Ian Healy Trophy – Michael Neser
Jodie Purves Trophy – Laura Harris
Pike-Maher Medal – Grace Parsons
Queensland Fire Player of the Year – Grace Parsons
Marsh Qld Sheffield Shield Player of the Year – Michael Neser
Marsh Qld One Day Cup Player of the Year – Michael Neser
Andrew Symonds Medal (Bulls Player’s Player) – Mark Steketee
Queensland Fire Player’s Player – Laura Harris
Brisbane Heat WBBL MVP – Amelia Kerr
Brisbane Heat BBL MVP – Michael Neser
Country Player of the Year (male) – Sam Lowry
Country Player of the Year (female) – Tarah Staines
Queensland Cricket Volunteer of the Year – Andrew Guest, (Cairns, FNQ)
Graham Dixon Award for Staff Achievement – Andrew Keyte