Big names scoop ANZ International awards
Four of New Zealand cricket’s modern day stars – Kane Williamson, Sophie Devine, Suzie Bates and Ross Taylor were in the limelight today as the white ball honours for the 2019-20 season were handed out during a LIVE NZC YouTube presentation of the ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards.
Devine and Taylor were named the Women’s and Men’s ANZ International T20 Players of the Year respectively, while Williamson and Bates were both rewarded for consistency with the bat as they claimed the ANZ International ODI Player of the Year gongs.
Williamson’s recognition followed a spectacular campaign at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, where his 578 runs at an average of 82, including two centuries, culminated in him being named player of the tournament.
“Kane was simply exceptional at the ICC Cricket World Cup last year,” says BLACKCAPS head coach Gary Stead.
“He can be extremely proud of what he achieved at the tournament in the UK. He scored his runs at crucial times, in crucial matches and he set a tempo throughout the tournament that allowed us to play some superb cricket.”
Stead also congratulated the BLACKCAPS skipper on his selection in the ICC ODI Team of the Year, an accolade fitting of his world-class status.
“Kane fully deserved his selection.
“He builds great partnerships with our well-established middle order and when he bats deep in an ODI innings, we’ll invariably be in a good position to win most of those matches.
“He leads the team well, he has his own style and certainly the respect of his peers. His calm, purposeful demeanour flows through his leadership and, in turn, the team.”
Captain Kane’s No.3 counterpart in the WHITE FERNS is the ANZ International Women’s ODI Player of the Year – Suzie Bates.
Despite only having one ODI series against South Africa at home this summer, Bates showed her class scoring 142 runs at an average of 42.
“Suzie has been a world class performer for many years,” says WHITE FERNS head coach Bob Carter.
“She can be proud of another strong season in the ODI colours for the WHITE FERNS.”
Bates scored two half-centuries in the three-match series against South Africa, reinforcing her reputation as one of the best ODI players in the world.
“She paces an ODI innings really well and has the ability to read fields and pre-empt what opposition captains are trying to do and how they are looking to contain or restrict her game.
“Suzie is always hungry for more runs; she will think she let two chances slide to score big hundreds.
“That’s the kind of world class attitude and dedication to her game that she has and why she has been a strong contributor to the WHITE FERNS for so long.”
Meanwhile, it was the continuation of a blockbuster T20 summer for WHITE FERNS captain Sophie Devine.
She was the obvious choice for the ANZ International Women’s T20 Player of the Year, scoring her maiden T20 century while also becoming the first player, male or female, to reach 50 in five, and then six, consecutive T20 Internationals.
“What can I say? Sophie had an exceptional season with the bat in T20 cricket,” Carter said.
Devine scored 429 runs at an average of 71 and at a strike-rate of 132 – employing a power game that rivals the best female players in the world.
“Our T20 side is at its best when Sophie is scoring runs at the top. She gives others around her the freedom to play their natural game,” says Carter.
“Sophie’s ability with the ball in T20 cricket goes under the radar at times. She will often step up and bowl the hard overs and uses changes of pace to her advantage.
“She is a top quality all-rounder and an exceptional T20 talent.”
The ANZ International Men’s T20 Player of the Year, Ross Taylor, scored 330 T20 runs with a strike-rate of 130.
“A man of Ross’ international experience is very valuable in the fast and furious nature of T20 cricket,” says BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead.
“He has the ability to sum up batting conditions quickly and accurately in a variety of venues and countries.
“This is a skill which serves the team well and helps us adapt plans quickly in the shortest form of the game.”
Tomorrow is the fourth and final day of the ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards where we wrap up with more top accolades, including the ANZ International Test Player of the Year, the G.J. Gardner Homes New Zealand Umpire of the Year and the supreme award, the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal.