At this year’s annual awards presentation, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) will introduce the Debbie Hockley Medal to recognise the finest female cricketer of the year. The medal will be the women’s counterpart of the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for the finest male cricketer of the year, and it will be presented at the NZC’s annual awards ceremony on a regular basis. The awards will be held on March 23 in Auckland this year. On the occasion, Hockley will present the new award.
From 1979 to 2000, Hockley appeared in 118 One-Day Internationals and 19 Tests for New Zealand. She was recognised as one of the top batters in the 1980s and 1990s and is regarded as a pioneer of the women’s game. She is the only woman to have been named New Zealand Cricketer of the Year in 1998, 13 years before the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal was established.
“I’m honoured, of course, but I’m also thrilled that the country’s outstanding women’s cricketer of the year will be recognised on an annual and ongoing basis. It’s been wonderful to watch the progress of the women’s game in New Zealand over the last five or six years, and this is another very positive development. I’m excited to deliver this honour to the first recipient in March “Hockley explained.
Hockley was the fourth woman admitted into the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame in 2013, following Australia’s Belinda Clark and England’s Enid Bakewell and Rachael Heyhoe-Flint. During her playing and leadership years, Hockley set various records. At the age of 21, she became the second-youngest captain in a woman’s Test; 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; she scored the joint-second-most Test centuries (four); and she scored ODI hundreds in consecutive innings, among other records.
Hockley amassed over 4000 ODI runs at a strike rate of over 42, including four centuries. She was the first woman to score 4000 ODI runs and the first to appear in 100 ODIs. She was the first woman to be elected president of the NZC.