Rising Southern Star claims 'unexpected' award for league's best | cricket.com.au

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Rising Southern Star claims 'unexpected' award for league's best

Southern Stars and Konica Minolta Queensland Fire all-rounder Jess Jonassen has taken out Player of the Year award

You’d never believe how much Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars all-rounder Jess Jonassen has in common with one of the all-time greats of cricket.

She bats left-handed, she is forging a career as a number three batter and to further the uncanny cricketing resemblance, she studies a law degree like her counterpart.

If you haven’t guessed it already, it’s Sri Lanka’s World Cup hero Kumar Sangakkara – but don’t tell Jonassen, who seems too humble to accept the likeness.

The Konica Minolta Queensland Fire rising star recently took out the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) Player of the Year at the Australian State Cricket Awards.

“It’s a huge honour … I wasn’t expecting at all,” Jonassen said.

“I guess it’s the most consistent year I’ve had … I see myself as a bit of a bowling all-rounder so it’s good to contribute with both bat and ball.”

Astonishingly, Jonassen played only half of the season due to knee surgery after Christmas last year.

“I owe a lot to the support staff and the physios; I’m just hoping to get back to 100 per cent.”

In just five games, Jonassen amassed 197 runs at 49.25 but not to be overshadowed by her bowling, which yielded 11 scalps at 13.36 apiece.

The orthodox spin bowler is looking to prove her fitness ahead of the national side’s tour of England as they endeavour to regain the Women’s Ashes.

“The next goal is to get onto the tour and then hopefully getting (the Ashes) back.”

A stark difference in this year’s preparation will be the introduction of new national head coach Matthew Mott, who Jonassen has worked with before.

“He’s a great guy and he’ll bring something new to the table, I’ve had a few sessions with him at the Bupa National Cricket Centre and he has some great credentials behind him,” Jonassen said.

Looking to add to her domestic performances, Jonassen said she is also looking forward to the Women’s Big Bash League, which will be launched next .

“Women’s cricket is becoming a lot more professional and this just adds to that … it’ll be a real hit and hopefully we can get a few internationals over to play.

“It also allows you to meet other players in other states and form that cohesive bond.

“It’s a step towards hopefully cricket becoming a financially viable career for women.”