Allrounder Nicole Bolton informed her WA teammates yesterday of her decision to retire from state cricket effective immediately.
The five-time Zoë Goss medalist retires as the State’s all-time leading run scorer in the women’s game and leaves a legacy of excellence.
Bolton burst onto the scene as a generational talent and played her first game for WA as a 16-year-old in 2005.
The three-time Women’s National Cricket League Player of the Year enjoyed a stellar career that peaked when WA broke a 33-year hoodoo to claim the Ruth Preddy Cup in 2019-20.
Bolton was her brilliant best throughout the drought-breaking campaign, she struck a competition-high 436 runs at 48.44 to go with 16 scalps at 19.43 and was comfortably the competition’s premier player.
Bolton’s storied career saw many ground-breaking achievements.
In 2012 she became the first West Australian woman to score a WNCL century with a glittering 121 against Tasmania in Perth.
A season later she became the first Australian woman to score a One-Day International century on debut, smashing 124 against England at the MCG.
While it wasn’t known at the time, it was fitting that Bolton’s final match for her State was a vintage masterclass from the elegant left-hander.
In March 2021, The WA great crafted an unbeaten century at the iconic WACA Ground to secure an eight wicket win over Victoria and walked off the hallowed turf to rapturous applause from those in attendance.
The allrounder plundered 2,758 runs for WA, including a State-leading seven centuries, and took 59 wickets over her 85-game WNCL career to be the quintessential allrounder.
In 49 T20 appearances for WA, Bolton scored 961 runs with a best of 97* and an average of 24.64.
WA allrounder Nicole Bolton said:
“Over the last 18 months I’ve found a lot of things quite challenging around my cricket. After I stopped playing for Australia, I struggled to find my purpose in state cricket.
“I found joy again the year we won the Ruth Preddy Cup, but I know my time is up.
“I didn’t really realise, but I was naturally transitioning out of the cricket bubble over the last year, starting to work and finding my career.
“I want to thank everyone at WA Cricket, if it wasn’t for the staff and Christina growing women’s cricket, I wouldn’t have got to where I am now.
“I turned up as a 15-year-old kid, playing against women more advanced, but many people have believed in me along the way, and it’s been those people who gifted me the opportunity to play for my country and my State.
“Coach Steve Jenkin really pushed me hard to play for Australia and helped me create my work ethic.
“Lisa Keightly always provided an environment where I always supported, she was shoulder to cry on and helped me through a really difficult time in my life.
“Michael Dighton, I love that we won the cup under him, it was one of the best years of my life and he brought a lot of fun back to my cricket.
“Kade Harvey and Becky Grundy and all the support staff, they have been a huge support for me.
“Thanks to my teammates Avril Faye and Angele Gray they pushed me from the start and showed me how far I could progress in a sport that I love.
“The WNCL premiership winning team, it still gives me goosebumps, it was a tough year for me when I stopped playing for Australia but that team rallied around me.
“There have been a lot of changes in the team over the last few years, but it’s a good energy and they’ve kept me grounded.”
“Megs (Banting) has been so important through this process and it’s great to have your partner be so supportive during this.
“Noddy, my mentor, my life coach and soul mate. Really grateful for all the balls he dished out to me over the many, many years.
“Lastly my family, mum and dad have always been a token edition to everywhere ever I’ve been playing around the world, they’ve let me fulfill my dream and been there front and centre to watch. My two brothers and their wives and my nieces and nephews, they my hashes critics but they give me the love and support I need too.
“It’s been a rollercoaster of a career, but it’s been incredible and I couldn’t have done any of it without all the support from people along the way.
WA Women’s Head Coach Becky Grundy said:
“Nicole Bolton has been an incredible servant to cricket in Western Australia over a long period of time and we congratulate her on a fantastic career for WA.
“For over 15 years Nicole has been part of the WA Women’s squad and has had an immeasurable impact on so many women and girls playing cricket in this State.
“As a WA cricketing talent her feats have been unrivalled, she was instrumental in the 2019-20 Ruth Preddy Cup victory and should be incredibly proud of her achievements for this State.
“On behalf of the Women’s team and WA Cricket, we wish Nicole the very best in her next chapter and will no doubt still see her around cricket ovals this season in a coaching capacity for Subiaco-Floreat’s A and B Grade teams.”
NICOLE BOLTON CAREER STATISTICS
- First WA woman to score a WNCL century (121 v Tasmania in 2012)
- First Australian woman to score century on ODI Debut (124 v England in 2014)
- Five-time Zoë Goss medallist
- Three-time Women’s National Cricket League Player of the Year
- Player of the Final in the 2019-20 Ruth Preddy Cup winning team
- WA’s leading WNCL run scorer (2,758 runs)
- WA’s leading WNCL centurion (7x100s)