Wellington, April 30 (IANS) Kane Williamson and Suzie Bates were on Thursday respectively named ODI players of the year at the annual New Zealand Cricket awards for their stellar performance throughout the year.
Williamson’s recognition followed a spectacular campaign at the 2019 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,” said Black Caps head coach Gary Stead.
“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.”
Bates, captain of White Ferns, despite only having one ODI series against South Africa at home this summer, showed her class scoring 142 runs at an average of 42.
“Suzie has been a world class performer for many years,” said New Zealand women’s cricket head coach Bob Carter.
Meanwhile, Ross Taylor and Sophie Devine were named T20I players of the year respectively in the award ceremony held online for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taylor scored 330 T20I 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,” Stead said. “He has the ability to sum up batting conditions quickly and accurately in a variety of venues and countries.”
Devine, on the other hand, was the obvious choice for the women’s T20I player of the year award as she scored her maiden T20I 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.