The season in advent - day 21 - Smith on her favourite year

Linsey Smith spoke of “one of the best seasons I’ve ever had” after ending it with a Big Bash stint and the honour of being named as the Diamonds Players’ Player of the Year.

The left-arm spinner claimed 37 wickets in 34 appearances for all sides, including the Northern Superchargers in the Hundred and for the Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash, through 2021.

Twenty two of those scalps came in 16 appearances for the Diamonds, while the Oxfordshire-born star hit 127 runs in blue with a top score of 37. She displayed her versatility with the bat by opening the batting in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy final in September and posting 31.

“It wasn’t that long ago that I wanted to hang up the boots,” said Smith in a recent blog for this website.

“I’d got into a pretty rough place with it all and wasn’t enjoying the pressure I was putting on myself. It had a negative impact on my cricket, and I got into a bit of a rut where I wasn’t enjoying anything to do with it.

“To turn it around to the stage where I’m loving every minute now has been brilliant.”

Smith was named as the Diamonds Players’ Player of the Year at last month’s awards dinner, where Sterre Kalis was also handed two awards - the Fans’ Player of the Year and the Batter of the Year.

Dutch international Kalis scored 373 runs from 17 appearances for the Diamonds this summer, including two half-centuries.

She has been awarded her first full-time professional contract for 2022.

Jenny Gunn was named Bowler of the Year with 22 wickets in 14 games, including back-to-back four-wicket hauls in the Charlotte Edwards T20 Cup.

Captain Hollie Armitage was named Fielder of the Year with nine catches.


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