WELLINGTON: New Zealand captain Kane Williamson was on Tuesday awarded the prestigious Sir Richard Hadlee medal for the fourth time in six years, while women’s all-rounder Amelia Kerr and rising star Devon Conway also claimed top honours at the New Zealand Cricket Awards for the 2020-21 season.
Williamson was given the award on the back of his impressive run in Tests during the summer, where he scored a career-best 251 against the West Indies in Hamilton, followed by a century on his home ground in Mount Maunganui during the Boxing Day Test. He also made a double-century against Pakistan in Christchurch, which helped New Zealand book their place in the ICC World Test Championship final. Overall, New Zealand won 17 out of 20 internationals they played during the summer, and claimed all seven series.
Williamson, the highest ranked Test batsman, was also named the International Test Player of the Year and awarded the Redpath Cup for first-class batting, after he amassed 639 runs in just four innings at an average of 159.
“Going into the Test summer — there was that Championship final carrot and there was a real drive there for the guys,” Williamson told Sir Richard Hadlee on a phone call, upon receiving the news of the award. “Although it seemed a long way off, winning four Tests before you’ve started one is a pretty lofty goal. To spend some time at the crease personally and make contributions towards that … certainly proud as a leader and a player in this side that we were able to achieve some of those things and we’re looking forward to that final.”
In the women’s category, Kerr won the International T20 award. The leg-spinning all-rounder played a key role in the White Ferns’ wins over Australia in Brisbane last December and in Napier last month.
Conway, meanwhile, was named the men’s player of the year in both ODIs as well as T20 Internationals to edge out fellow batsman Glenn Phillips and bowlers Tim Southee and Ish Sodhi for the award.
Finn Allen, the 21-year-old opener who recently made his international debut, was named the Player of the Year in the men’s category.
Kyle Jamieson, a key member of New Zealand’s Test attack, was given the Windsor Cup for first-class bowling, his first NZC award. Jamieson had picked up 27 wickets during the season, including a haul of 11 in the final Test against Pakistan in Christchurch.
Stand-in captain Amy Satterthwaite was named the women’s ODI Player of the Year, courtesy 304 runs in six matches on her comeback trail.
Former batsman Jeff Crowe was honoured with the Bert Sutcliffe Medal for outstanding services to cricket. Crowe represented New Zealand in 39 Tests and 75 ODIs between 1983 and 1990, captaining the side on 22 occasions. He was later appointed manager of the national team. Since 2004, Crowe has been an ICC match referee, overseeing 103 Tests, 301 ODIs and 137 T20s.
Published in Dawn, April 14th, 2021