‘Just being me’ results in New Year honour for Debbie Hockley

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Debbie Hockley thought she was being pranked when she first found out she was receiving another New Years honour.

Made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit in 1999 for her contributions to cricket as a player, Hockley has this year become a Companion of the Order for her added contributions off the field.

Since retiring from playing in 2000, the Cantabrian has been a strong advocate for the women’s game and in 2016 made history by becoming New Zealand Cricket’s first ever female president.

The first New Zealand woman and just the fourth woman worldwide to be added to the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame when she was inducted in 2013, Hockley said she was gobsmacked to learn she was receiving yet another honour.

“I’ve had amazing opportunities since I finished playing and through it all I’ve just been me. I just go about doing what I do and I’m just myself.

“The fact that someone has deemed that inspirational, especially for females to look up to, I’m really humbled by it.”

There is plenty of evidence other women have looked up to what Hockley has done.

The former White Ferns captain, who played 137 matches for New Zealand and made four test centuries, was a key contributor to the 2015 review into the state of the women’s game in Aotearoa.

The review gave impetus to many of the changes which have taken, and are taking, place.

Last month, NZC also achieved gender equality on their eight-strong board after the addition of two new female directors.

Hockley said having more women around the board room tables was one of the things she was most proud of about her post-playing career.

“Both for New Zealand Cricket itself and the major and district associations, that’s been really pleasing.

“Personally, I think New Zealand cricket leads the way in terms of females in governance, and just being part of the organisation where that’s improved, that’s been one of the highlights.”

And she was optimistic the good news would continue to come.

Hockley said New Zealand’s hosting of the 2021 World Cup would provide further drive for the momentum behind the women’s game.

“That will be a really good stepping stone for us for developing more numbers of players.

“We’re still working hard at doing that already but having a tournament of that nature right in our backyard when we haven’t had it for 20 years, that’s going to be a really exciting time for getting lots of kids playing.”

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