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Mooney crowns stellar year with gong

Australia and Brisbane Heat batter Beth Mooney was named the Women's Domestic Player of the Year

The rumblings of what would turn into a breakout year in international cricket began in Rebel WBBL|02 for Beth Mooney.

Before she blazed the highest women's T20I score in Australia, before she was crowned the ICC's T20I Player of the Year and Emerging Player of the Year, it was for Brisbane Heat that the Queenslander stated her intentions for 2017.

Beth Mooney collects her trophy // Getty
Beth Mooney collects her trophy // Getty

And it for that standout WBBL|02 campaign that Mooney was on Monday crowned the Women's Domestic Player of the Year at the AB Medal Evening in Melbourne.

In 15 matches for the Heat last summer, she scored 482 runs at 43.81 with a strike rate of 115.58 and completed 12 dismissals behind the stumps, enough to edge out Australian captain Meg Lanning – who scored 502 runs – to be voted the season's best.

Magnificient Mooney blitzes T20 century

Across the voting period - between December 10, 2016 and November 28, 2017, taking in WBBL|02 and the first two rounds of 2017-18 50-over WNCL matches – Mooney scored 614 runs at 40.93 including six half-centuries.

Two players scored more runs across the same period – NSW's Alyssa Healy and WA's Elyse Villani – but neither came close to Mooney's efforts when it came to average.

That WBBL season laid the foundation for Mooney's breakout year in international cricket. Her first ODI century came against New Zealand in Auckland in February.

She scored one century and two half-centuries in that series, before a further two fifties during the Women's World Cup in England.

Her year in T20I cricket got off to a less-than desirable start: knocks of 1, 4 and 1 in a home series loss to the White Ferns in February.

But fuelled by the frustration of being squeezed out of the one-day side for the multi-format Women's Ashes in October, Mooney returned in stunning form for the T20 component of the series, posting scores of 86no, 17 and 117no.

If was after watching that stunning unbeaten century at Manuka Oval that Australia coach Matthew Mott stated he had no doubt she could be one of the best batters in the world.

"I remember saying to her early in the series, 'How about we see the real Beth Mooney play here? If this was a WBBL attack you'd be bossing it'," Mott said.

"That was a great thing from a coaching point of view, to see her go out there and play the way that she can play.

Mooney seals Women's Ashes with winning runs

"We've said internally that should inspire a lot of the other batters within the group who aren't as fearless at the moment.

"I think she's a real beacon in our squad in terms of someone who's had their struggles, looked inside herself and come out and took the game on."

The Women's Domestic Player of the Year award was voted for by Australian-based international, state and WBBL-contracted players, gathered and tallied by the Australian Cricketers' Association, with players unable to vote for a player from their own state.

It's the second year the category has been included in the Allan Border Medal evening, with Lanning taking out the inaugural prize last year.