Wellington, April 13: New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won his fourth Sir Richard Hadlee medal for excelling across formats and was also adjudged the 'Test Player of the Year' in the country's annual cricket awards on Tuesday. Devon Conway won the men's ODI and T20 Player of the Year during the 2020-21 awards season which was conducted digitally for a second year running because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Williamson's incredible home Test summer helped him clinch the two awards alongside the Redpath Cup for first-class batting, after he amassed a whopping 639 runs in just four innings at an average of 159. He claimed the big prize for the fourth time in last six years.
In bowler friendly conditions, Williamson, the number one ranked Test batsman in ICC standings, recorded his top international score of 251 against the West Indies in Hamilton. He also notched a Boxing Day Test century on his home ground of Bay Oval in Tauranga, before adding another double-century against Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch - to help the Black Caps book their place in the ICC World Test Championship Final. Bhuvneshwar Kumar Named ICC Men's Player of the Month for March 2021, Lizelle Lee Bags Women's Award.
"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 upon receiving the news of the award on a phone call.
"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.
"...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," he added. Conway was rewarded for a fine run in his first international season with the men's ODI and T20 International Player of the Year awards.
The elegant-left hander smashed 473 T20I runs at an average of 59 and strike rate of 151, with four half-centuries and a top-score of 99 not out. He edged out fellow batsman Glenn Phillips (366 runs at 40.6) and bowlers Tim Southee (21 wickets at 16.7) and Ish Sodhi (20 wickets at 15.4).
Conway's ODI form was just as dominant as he plundered 225 runs at 75 in the three-game series against Bangladesh, including his maiden international century at the Basin Reserve in March. Among the women, Amelia Kerr's all-round skills and fielding prowess saw her win the Dream11 Super Smash and the T20 awards.
The leg-spinning all-rounder played a key role in the team's upset wins over Australia in Brisbane before Christmas and in Napier last month. Stand-in captain Amy Satterthwaite was named the women's ODI Player of the Year, after taking some time off to have a baby and returning to the fold to score 304 runs at 38, including a top score of 119 not-out against England in Dunedin. ICC Women's ODI Rankings 2021: Australia Captain Meg Lanning Moves to Fifth Spot, Tammy Beaumont Sits at the Top.
Leadership was also acknowledged as a factor in Williamson prevailing in the supreme award over strong cases from Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, who also played key roles in the teaming winning 17 out of 20 games and all seven series they contested this summer.
Former batsman Jeff Crowe was honoured with the Bert Sutcliffe Medal for outstanding services to cricket. Crowe represented the 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.