Kane Williamson Named New Zealand ODI Cricketer of The Year
Kane Williamson (© AFP)

Kane Williamson and Suzie Bates on Thursday were named as the men and women ODI player of the year respectively at the annual New Zealand Cricket awards on Thursday.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the awards were announced online.

Williamson has had a memorable 2019 during which he led New Zealand to the ICC Cricket World Cup final apart from being named as the player of the tournament too.

“Kane was simply exceptional at the ICC Cricket World Cup last year,” New Zealand head coach, Gary Stead said. “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.”

On his captaincy, Stead said Williamson’s calm demeanour has a knock on effect on teammates. “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,” Stead said.

Bates struck two half-centuries in three matches against South Africa – White Ferns’ only games in the format last year. She scored 142 runs at an average of 42.

“Suzie has been a world class performer for many years,” White Ferns head coach, Bob Carter said. “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.”

Ross Taylor (men) and Sophie Devine (women) won the awards for the T20 players of the year

Taylor scored 330 runs at a strike-rate of 130 in 2019. “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. This is a skill which serves the team well and helps us adapt plans quickly in the shortest form of the game.”

Devine had a stellar year, scoring during which she hit her maiden T20 century. She also became the first international cricketer (male or female) to hit five and then six successive T20I fifties.

“Sophie had an exceptional season with the bat in T20 cricket,” Carter said. “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.

“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,” Carter added.