NZ's Suzie Bates sweeps ICC Women's Player of the Year awards
Dubai [UAE], Dec.14 (ANI): New Zealand's Suzie Bates has become the first cricketer to clinch both the ICC Women's ODI and T20I Player of the Year awards.
Bates was selected based on performances between September 14, 2015 and September 20, 2016, when she notched up a total of 472 runs in eight ODIs at an average of just over 94. She also took eight wickets at an economy-rate of 3.75.
In the shortest format of the game, Bates was the leading run-scorer with 429 runs at an average of 42.90 and a strike-rate of over 115 runs per 100 balls.
A delighted Bates said, "It was a bit of a surprise to find out that I had won both these awards. It is always nice to be recognised for performances and after a busy year of cricket, I am pleased to have managed some consistency over both formats."
"The awards are always nice but the most important thing for me is to make sure I am performing consistently and helping put the team in a position to win more games.For the past one-and-a-half years, our team has been performing very well and lots of different players have stood up and performed under pressure. It is heartening to see that the team is doing very well going into the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 which will be held in England and Wales," she added.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson congratulated Bates, saying: "Suzie is a well-deserved recipient of the ICC Women's ODI and T20I Player of the Year awards, maintaining strong and consistent performances across both formats of the game throughout the 12-month period under consideration.
"Next year promises to be the biggest yet in women's cricket history with the ICC Women's Cricket World Cup 2017 in the United Kingdom. We look forward to watching Suzie and the other stars of the women's game on the biggest stage of them all," he added.
Bates captained New Zealand in the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 where her side reached the semi-finals, while she also inspired the White Ferns to a third-place finish in the ICC Women's Championship which earned them an automatic qualification for next year's ICC Women's World Cup 2017.
Bates had won the ICC Women's ODI Player of the Year award in 2013, but has been named as the ICC Women's T20I Player of the Year for the first time to join the esteemed company of England's Sarah Taylor (2012 and 2013), Meg Lanning of Australia (2014) and West Indies' Stafanie Taylor (2015).
The previous ICC Women's ODI Player of the Year include Australia's Karen Rolton (2006), Jhulan Goswami of India (2007), Charlotte Edwards of England (2008), Claire Taylor of England (2009), Australia's Shelley Nitschke (2010), West Indies' Stafanie Taylor (2011 and 2012), Sarah Taylor of England (2014) and Australia's Meg Lanning (2015).
The Voting Panel, which selected the ICC Women's ODI and T20I Players of the Year 2016, included former women's international cricketers as well as respected members of the media.
Meanwhile, Bates has also been named in the ICC Women's Team of the Year 2016 which will be captained by Stafanie Taylor, who spearheaded the West Indies to its maiden ICC Women's World Twenty20 title in India earlier this year. The women's team of the year has been added to the list of awards to acknowledge and appreciate outstanding performances of women's cricketers over a 12-month period.
Reflecting on the same, Richardson said, "This is the first time that the ICC has named a women's team of the year. Congratulations to Stafanie Taylor and the rest of her team on their selection. The quality and depth of the women's game continues to grow year by year, with a number of outstanding performances during the voting period, the selectors must have had an exceptionally difficult task in settling on the final 12 players."
Apart from Bates, the side also includes two other New Zealanders – wicket-keeper Rachel Priest and off-spinner Leigh Kasperek.
The side features two Australians, Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, England's Heather Knight and Anya Shrubshole, two West Indians in Stafanie Taylor and Deandra Dottin as well as India's Smriti Mandhana and Sune Luus of South Africa. Kim Garth of Ireland has been named as 12th player.
The side was selected by a panel consisting of Clare Connor (Chair), Mel Jones and Shubhangi Kulkarni. (ANI)