Cricket: Blackaps captain Kane Williamson claims one-day player of year

Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson.
Blackcaps skipper Kane Williamson. Photo credit: Getty

Blackcaps captain Kane Williamson has been named the NZ Cricket One-day International Player of the Year, after a courageous performance at the Cricket World Cup. 

The 29-year-old claimed the big prize on day three of NZ Cricket's annual awards, with Ross Taylor, Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine also claiming limited-overs honours. 

Usually presented at a swept-up awards function, this year's trophies have been distributed 'virtually' over several days, under coronavirus lockdown. 

Bates has won women’s ODI Player of the Year title, with Taylor and White Ferns skipper Devine claiming the Twenty20 gongs.

Blackcaps coach Gary Stead says Williamson received the award after a strong World Cup showing, where his 578 runs at an average of 82, including two centuries, saw him named Player of the Tournament. 

"Kane was simply exceptional at the Cricket World Cup last year," says 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."

Bates captured the women's award off a strong performance against South Africa at home, where she scored two half-centuries in the three-match series.

"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.

"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."

Devine's award comes after a record-breaking campaign, where she scored her maiden T20 century, while also becoming the first player - male or female - to score half-centuries in six consecutive internationals in cricket's shortest format. 

Sophie Devine.
Sophie Devine. Photo credit: Photosport

"What can I say?" Carter says of Devine, who scored 429 runs at an average of 71. "Sophie had an exceptional season with the bat in T20 cricket." 

Taylor scored 330 T20 runs last year and his batting form will be crucial with a World Cup looming. 

"A man of Ross' international experience is very valuable in the fast and furious nature of T20 cricket," says Stead.

"He has the ability to sum up batting conditions quickly and accurately in a variety of venues and countries.

"This is a skill that serves the team well and helps us adapt plans quickly in the shortest form of the game."

The awards' final day will see the Test Player of the Years awarded along with the supreme Sir Richard Hadlee medal - awards Willaimson won last year. 

NZ Cricket Awards so far:

Bert Sutcliffe Medal for Outstanding Services to Cricket: Ian Smith

Women’s Super Smash Player of the Year: Sophie Devine

Men's Super Smash Player of the Year: Devon Conway  

Men's Domestic Player of the Year: Devon Conway

Women’s Domestic Player of the Year: Katie Gurrey 

The Redpath Cup for first-class batting: Tom Latham

The Ruth Martin Cup for women’s domestic batting: Katie Gurrey

The Winsor Cup for first-class bowling: Tim Southee

The Phyl Blackler Cup for women’s domestic bowling: Jess Kerr

Men’s ODI player of the year: Kane Williamson

Women’s ODI player of the year: Suzie Bates

Men’s T20 international player of the year: Ross Taylor

Women’s T20 international player of the year: Sophie Devine