Michael Neser and Sammy-Jo Johnson have reinforced their reputations as two of Queensland’s premier cricketers after being named the Queensland Bulls and Fire Players of the Year for the 2019-20 domestic season.
The Gold Coast Dolphins duo repeated their successes from the 2017-18 summer when they both last won the major player gongs, with this season’s award marking Neser’s third Ian Healy Trophy as the Queensland Bulls Player of the Year, while this is Johnson’s second Queensland Fire Player of the Year award.
Neser and Johnson were among a raft of players, teams, volunteers and staff set to be acknowledged and celebrated at the Queensland Cricket (QC) Awards Dinner last Saturday night, however the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ian Healy Trophy is awarded to the Bulls most consistent player across the Marsh Sheffield Shield and One Day Cup competitions and is voted on a 3, 2, 1 basis by players and coaches.
All-rounder Neser, who was a member of Australia’s Ashes-retaining touring party in the United Kingdom, was also named the Queensland Bulls Sheffield Shield Player of the Year after taking 33 wickets, second only in the competition to Queensland teammate Cameron Gannon.
His value to the Bulls was recognised after also being named the Bulls Player’s Player, awarded to the squad member who best displays the team’s values on and off the field. Grace Harris was named the Fire’s Player’s Player.
Bowling all-rounder Johnson continued the form that has seen her star for Queensland and Brisbane Heat in recent seasons after she claimed the Fire Player of the Year Award as the state’s best performer in the 50-over Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) where she led the team’s wicket-taker list with 11 from seven games.
Her form in the WNCL and Women’s Big Bash League saw her represent Australia A in 50 over and T20 cricket against India A in December having toured with the A squad to the UK in 2019.
Jonassen proved to be a vital cog in the Heat’s championship winning machine, taking Player of the Match honours in the club’s semi-final win over the Melbourne Renegades where she scored 38 runs and took one wicket.
Matthew Renshaw was named the Heat’s Big Bash League MVP after scoring 348 runs, second for the club only to Chris Lynn, and taking four wickets.
Queensland Fire and Bulls debutants Georgia Voll and Bryce Street were rewarded for their performances in Queensland’s underage and 2nd XI teams respectively after being named the Female Youth and Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS) Players of the Year.
Street particularly enjoyed a breakout summer after hitting a record-breaking 345 for the QAS in October before making his one day and first-class Queensland debuts and going onto finish second on the Bulls’ Sheffield Shield run-scorers list.
Meagan Dixon and Josh Dreaver were named the female and male Indoor Cricket Players of the Year after helping both the Queensland Lightning and Thunder claim top honours at the National Indoor Cricket Championships.
Lexie Muller and Sam Lowry were standout performers for Queensland at the Australian Country Cricket Championships and were both named in the Australian Country teams following the tournament. Muller and Lowry were named the Female and Male Queensland Government Country Players of the Year.
Chair of the Townsville Cricket Junior Committee, Chris Horn, was named Queensland’s Volunteer of the Year for his continued enthusiasm and passion in growing and developing junior cricket in Townsville and North Queensland.
Horn was a member of Kaspa’s Crew, QC’s volunteer recognition program, that was due to be celebrated for their contribution to cricket at the QC Awards Dinner last weekend.
Also due to be acknowledged on the weekend was the retiring Brisbane Heat and Queensland Fire captain Kirby Short who pulled up stumps on her illustrious career this season, and the latest inductee into QC’s Women’s Hall of Fame. QC plans to celebrate both players at events later in the year.
Commenting on the 2019-20 cricket season, QC Chair Chris Simpson said:
“The 2019-20 summer was one where Queensland Cricket enjoyed highlights and success on and off the field, however like all Australians, we have faced several challenges in the last month.
“While we would have loved to celebrate the achievements of our players, staff and volunteers at our awards dinner like we usually do, it is still important we round out the season and recognise the successes we’ve had.
“Our elite teams have performed on the field where the Brisbane Heat won a second straight WBBL championship and the Queensland Bulls came close to claiming silverware in the Marsh One Day and Sheffield Shield competitions.
“We have also seen our players perform brilliantly on the national and international stages, highlighted by Marnus Labuschagne starring for Australia across the summer before Beth Mooney, Jess Jonassen and Delissa Kimmince helped retain the T20 World Cup in front of 86,000 people at the MCG.
“The game has also continued to grow and prosper at a community cricket level, and I’d like to thank the tireless work of our volunteers and congratulate Chris Horn in Townsville on winning our Volunteer of the Year Award. It is because of people like Chris and all the coaches, managers, clubs and associations across the state that cricket continues to prosper.
“Congratulations to our award winners and thank you to all of cricket’s stakeholders for your work throughout the summer and beyond.
“Like all sporting bodies we have been challenged by the COVID-19 crisis, however we’re remaining strong as a group and are determined to play our role of uniting and inspiring Queensland communities through cricket once some normality returns.”
Queensland’s male and female players have begun their annual leave this week, however they remain closely connected to QC’s High Performance coaches and managers as plans for the 2020-21 season progress.
Queensland Cricket 2019-20 Award Winners
Ian Healy Trophy – Michael Neser
Queensland Fire Player of the Year – Sammy-Jo Johnson
Marsh Sheffield Shield Player of the Year – Michael Neser
Marsh One Day Cup Player of the Year – Usman Khawaja
Queensland Fire Player’s Player – Grace Harris
Queensland Bulls Player’s Player – Michael Neser
Brisbane Heat WBBL MVP – Jess Jonassen
Brisbane Heat BBL MVP – Matthew Renshaw
QAS Player of the Year – Bryce Street
Youth Female Player of the Year – Georgia Voll
QLD Government Male Country Player of the Year – Sam Lowry
QLD Government Female Country Player of the Year – Lexie Muller
Queensland Lightning Player of the Year (Indoor) - Meagan Dixon
Queensland Thunder Player of the Year (Indoor) - Josh Dreaver
Queensland Cricket Volunteer of the Year – Chris Horn, Townsville Junior Cricket
Graham Dixon Award for Staff Achievement – Adam McDonald
Queensland Fire - WNCL: Georgia Redmayne, Mikayla Hinkley, Georgia Voll
Queensland Bulls – Sheffield Shield: Blake Edwards, Bryce Street, Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant
Queensland Bulls – One Day Cup: Bryce Street
Brisbane Heat – WBBL: Mikayla Hinkley, Amelia Kerr, Maddy Green, Courtney Sippel, Lily Mills
Brisbane Heat – BBL: AB de Villiers, Tom Banton, Ben Laughlin, Zahir Khan
Australia – One Day International: Marnus Labuschagne
Umpire – International: Donovan Koch
2019-20 Volunteers of the Year – Kaspa's Crew
Mick Patton – Brisbane North
Shane Harris – South East Queensland
Ed Ebert - Metropolitan South West
Troy Thompson – Mackay / Whitsundays
Kylie Argent – Far North Queensland
Ben Shaw – Sunshine Coast
Wayne Todman – Bayside and Redlands
David O’Donnell - Gold Coast
Darryl Langton – Darling Downs and South West Queensland
Robert Gale – Central Queensland
Chris Horn – North Queensland
Shannan Heycox – Wide Bay