Kane Williamson capped off his first year as captain of New Zealand cricket in all formats by winning big at the annual New Zealand Cricket Awards.
The 26-year-old was named ‘New Zealand’s Player of the Year’ and was awarded the ‘Sir Richard Hadlee Medal’ for a second successive year.
This followed his 17th Test century at Hamilton in the final test of the summer against South Africa.
The ton made him the joint highest century maker along with batting legend Martin Crowe. Williamson also won the Redpath Cup (first-class batting) and the best T-20 player for the year.
Otago’s left arm seamer Neil Wagner won the Test player of the year.
He picked up 56 wickets over the season and featured in 13 of the 14 tests the Black Caps played.
In the process, he became the second fastest New Zealand bowler to 100 wickets after Sir Richard Hadlee. What stood out with Wagner was his fitness, and unrelenting toil whilst attacking the batsman with short pitch bowling.
Auckland opener Martin Guptill won the best ‘One Day International Player of the Year’ title. He was the most prolific New Zealand batsman in the shorter version of the game and scored 570 runs at 47.50 over the international season.
His test match form remains scratchy, but there is no denying he is one of best ODI batsman going around.
Guptill’s successful summer also earned him a contract with King’s 11 Punjab in the latest edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL-10).
Auckland wicket keeper Glen Phillipps won the ‘T20 Domestic Player of the Year Award.’ Phillips came close to selection for the Black Caps this season and also missed out being picked up at the IPL auction.
But there is no denying that he is a name to watch out for in the future.
Caterbury’s Amy Satterthwaite scored four consecutive ODI centuries on course to be named the ‘Women’s ODI Player of the Year.’
Women’s Team Captain Suzie Bates won the ‘Women’s T20 Player of the Year Award.’ Her form in T-20 cricket has seen her become a major attraction in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL) also.
Looking ahead, the Black Caps’ next international assignment is the Champions Trophy in England beginning on June 1, 2017.
A majority of that team would have just come off playing at the IPL, making them fit and a dangerous proposition at the prestigious eight nation’s event.
New Zealand cricket fans will expect no less than a second Champions Trophy victory for the Black Caps.