More glory on the world stage for Polkinghorne

CHAMPIONS: Briony Polkinghorne (right in huddle) celebrates with teammates. Pictures: PowerShots Photography.
CHAMPIONS: Briony Polkinghorne (right in huddle) celebrates with teammates. Pictures: PowerShots Photography.

Briony Polkinghorne has reached the pinnacle of indoor cricket for a third time.

The 35-year-old Ballarat star played an integral role in Australia’s successful world cup campaign, which concluded with victory over South Africa in the final.

Polkinghorne played in the Aussie team alongside Nicole Martin and Laura Shaw, who both have strong links to the region.

Both Martin and Shaw have a coaching history with the Central Highlands cricket pathway teams, with the latter having lived in Ballarat while studying at university.

Polkinghorne, who won world cups in 2011 and 2014, said her third success at the highest level was amazing.

BIG TOURNAMENT: Briony Polkinghorne in action during the 2017 Indoor Cricket World Cup.

BIG TOURNAMENT: Briony Polkinghorne in action during the 2017 Indoor Cricket World Cup.

“Obviously each of them is special, but this one was extra special with our coach Donna Dalby announcing her retirement,” Polkinghorne told The Courier.

“And obviously with me getting older, you never know how my body will be in three years, so you cherish each one more.”

Polkinghorne was again selected in the world’s all-star team – the second time she has been awarded that honour – alongside both Martin and Shaw. Shaw was named as the most valuable player in the grand final.

“I was happy with how I contributed,” Polkinghorne said.

“Winning any team sport is amazing, but to win alongside people I have so much respect for and hold in such high regard, I just pinch myself.

“A world cup is the pinnacle of our sport so (it’s) hard to explain.”

Polkinghorne played seven games throughout the 2017 tournament, which was conducted between September 16 and 23.

She made a total of 105 runs and took seven wickets to finish with an impressive overall contribution average of 9.14.

Polkinghorne had a good game in the final against South Africa, making 22 runs and claiming a wicket in the 121 to 52 triumph.

The open women’s team’s success was its ninth in succession and was part of another golden world cup for Australia.

The Aussies won all divisions at the championships, with the open men securing a 10th-straight triumph and the 21/under men and women both winning a sixth consecutive crown.

Cricket Australia partnered with the Emirates Cricket Board to host the Indoor Cricket World Cup in Dubai.

About 400 players and officials from nine nations were in attendance.

The next world cup is scheduled for 2020.