Williamson awarded New Zealand’s top gong, rising stars honoured

Saturday, 17 April 2021 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson has taken out the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for the fourth time in six years at the New Zealand Cricket Awards for the 2020-21 season.

Alongside the top gong in New Zealand cricket, Williamson also won the award for International Test Player of the Year and The Redpath Cup for first-class batting.

It was a summer to remember for Williamson, the No.1 batsman on the ICC Test rankings. The 30-year-old scored 639 runs across four Tests, averaging 159.75.

He notched three tons in those four innings, including two double centuries as he helped his team qualify for the inaugural ICC World Test Championship Final.

Rising stars Amelia Kerr and Devon Conway also celebrated multiple awards.

Kerr was named New Zealand’s International Women’s T20 Player of the Year and Women’s Super Smash Player of the Year. Veteran Amy Satterthwaite was named International Women’s ODI Player of the Year after scoring 304 runs at 38, with a top score of 119 not-out against England.

In his first summer of international cricket, Conway took out the prizes for both International Men’s ODI and T20 Player of the Year.

He plundered 225 runs at 75 across three ODIs and made 473 runs at 59 with a strike rate of 151 through 14 T20Is.

Former batter Jeff Crowe was honoured with the Bert Sutcliffe Medal for outstanding services to cricket.

Crowe represented his country in 39 Tests and 75 ODIs between 1983 and 1990, captained the side on 22 occasions and was later appointed manager of the New Zealand team.

Since 2004, he has been an ICC match referee, overseeing 103 Tests, 301 ODIs and 137 T20s. He became the third match referee to officiate in 300 ODIs during this summer’s second match between the Black Caps and Bangladesh at Hagley Oval.

Rather than his individual success, it was the team’s four consecutive Test wins that pleased Williamson the most.

 “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, who called him to reveal the news.

 “Although it seemed a long way off, winning four tests before you’ve started one is a pretty lofty goal and we knew we just had to try and play as well as we could and commit to what was in front of us.  “To and do that for a long period of time and to spend some time at the crease personally and make contributions towards that … certainly pretty 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.” Williamson was particularly honoured to be crowned International Test Player of the Year.

 “Test cricket is special in a big way to all the players and certainly to myself,” he said.

 “Growing up watching the game, the tradition and history behind it – and I know all around the world cricketers still see it as the pinnacle of the game so it’s an award I feel fortunate to receive.

 “To adapt the way we did when put into bat most times [this summer] and then build partnerships and create first innings totals was really important to us.

 “It was a really special summer with strong performances individually and collectively.”