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Honours spread across the states in NICC women's awards, team of the tournament

Jarred Cross -

National Indigenous Cricket Championship women's champions New South Wales have dominated the women's team of the tournament with five selections in the XI, spearheaded by player of the series Dharmini Chauhan.

The 22-year-old claimed the most wickets, most runs and award for best finals player after performing with bat and ball - including a better-than-run-a-ball 63 in Tuesday's final against Queensland.

Chauhan took four wickets in each of NSW's two wins against Western Australia in her best showings with the ball in hand, and averaged 88 runs with the help of a handful of unbeaten stays at the crease.

Teammates Callee Black, Roxsanne Van-Veen, Aimee Ravot and Anika Learoyd - who was named captain, joined her in the side as rewards for a faultless campaign in Mparntwe (Alice Springs).

Black's best came in an unbeaten 55 runs against Western Australia, while Ravot's 4-fa in the opening game and 3-14 in the final, Learoyd's strong start to the week with the bat and Van-Veen's work behind the stumps towards the most dismissals of any player were all solid campaigns recognised.

Calle Black hit a top score of 55 not out at the 2024 National Indigenous Cricket Championships. (Image: Albert Perez/Cricket Australia)

Speaking after the final, Chauhan said the team had gone into the tournament with a simple ethos.

"We came up with the three F's…fearless when we play our cricket, fun on and off the field and and then we're all one, we're all family. We love coming together at this time of year," she said.

Chauhan said "it felt amazing" to make amends after falling short when Queensland lifted the trophy in 2023, and proud of her individual performances which "means a hell of a lot for my mob".

"It (NICC) means so much to us. I love coming up here," she said.

For Queensland, Tracee Williamson, Grace Abdy and Carys Underwood all snuck into the XI.

Behind the eventual champions, Queensland were the clear no.1 contenders for consecutive titles with their only losses across the week coming against NSW - including a tight day two contest.

Their three selections in the team of the tournament were major drivers through their campaign towards the final.

Williamson hit 62 (35) in their first match against NSW, with a second big score of 46 later on over the five days.

She also took two wickets in the final.

Abdy was consistent in both disciplines, with a best 24 not out as well as top scoring for her side in the final with the bat and wickets in most of her opportunities with the ball; including a devastating 5-19 against WA.

Grace Abdy was solid with both bat and ball. (Image: Albert Perez/Cricket Australia)

Earlier in the tournament, Abdy said "the cricket is just a bonus" on top of the community and cultural aspect on return to her second NICC.

"Going to my first carnival last year I met so many new people, so many new friends. It's really good to come out here and be around other people that are just as passionate about their culture and really learn and be involved in everything. It's really great," she said.

Also contributing to Queensland's bowling, Underwood took wickets to help restrict WA and Victoria to modest totals during round fixtures.

Despite their limited success, Victorian openers Tahlia Meier and Ella Hayward made strong contributions with the bat throughout the tournament.

Meier got to 50 in her second game after hitting 35 in Victoria's opener, before smacking at unbeaten 64 in her final dig on Monday.

With a couple of run-outs and catches in the field, and 37-run average with the bat, the Wamba Wamba youngster was deserved of her spot in the team.

Hayward, her opening partner, averaged 33 at the crease before being reseted for a couple of games.

Ella Hayward (right) was very productive with the bat to start the tournament before producing with the ball later on. (Image: Albert Perez/Cricket Australia)

She returned to dominate with the ball, taking 4-10 in Victoria's final game against WA.

Western Australian Emily Bowden's consistency in providing double-digit scores within an unlucky campaign for her state was recognised in the XI.

WA were handed the women's competition's Spirit of Cricket award.

Each player is in the box seat for a spot in an Indigenous representative side to attend a multi-day camp and match against the MCC XI at the MCG in Naarm later this year.

In 2023, the Indigenous women's side fell just short of victory at the 'G in a nailbiter.

A men's team of the tournament was also announced following WA's historic win in the men's division.

National Indigenous Cricket Championships Women's Team of the Tournament

Tracee Williamson (QLD)

Tahlia Meier (VIC)

Anika Learoyd (NSW) (C)

Emily Bowden (WA)

Grace Abdy (QLD)

Ella Hayward (VIC)

Dharmini Chauhan (NSW)

Callee Black (NSW)

Roxsanne Van-Veen (NSW) (wk)

Carys Underwood (QLD)

Aimee Ravot (NSW)


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