Taylor receives top award
West Indies women’s captain Stafanie Taylor has been named the International Cricket Council’s Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Year, at the ICC Annual Awards announced for the period September 18, 2014 to September 13, 2015.
This is the third time the 24-year-old top-order batter and off-spinner has won a major international award. She previously won the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Year award in 2011 and 2012.
During the period under review Taylor scored 340 runs in nine matches with a best score of 78 off 58 balls against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Earlier this year she led West Indies to a 3-0 series sweep against Pakistan.
President of the West Indies Cricket Board, Dave Cameron, today lauded Taylor for her award-winning performances and leadership of the West Indies women’s team.
“On behalf of the WICB and the various stakeholders in West Indies cricket I want to extend congratulations to Stafanie on winning this major award on the ICC cricketing calendar. She has been an outstanding representative and ambassador for West Indies from the first time she step foot on the international stage, back in 2008, and she keeps getting better,” Cameron said.
“Stafanie has demonstrated that she is not just an excellent batter and bowler but also a very good leader. She did a fantastic job when she took over the captaincy against Pakistan earlier this year and was immediately rewarded with a series victory. This award will help raise the profile of women’s cricket in the West Indies as it is further proof that young women in the Caribbean can rise to the top of the world in their chosen endeavour.”
The other award in women’s cricket, for the ODI Cricketer of the Year, went to Australia captain Meg Lanning. She was the top Women’s ODI run-getter in the voting period, with 531 runs at 88.50,
Meanwhile Australia captain Steven Smith won the top ICC awards for 2014-15, being named Cricketer of the Year as well as Test Cricketer of the Year. Smith became the seventh player after Rahul Dravid (2004), Jacques Kallis (2005), Ricky Ponting (2006), Kumar Sangakkara (2012), Michael Clarke (2013) and Mitchell Johnson (2014) to bag both awards in the same year.
In the period reviewed, Smith was the leading run-getter in Tests with 1734 runs at an average of 82.57. In that period he also made 1249 ODI runs at 59.47, his excellence across the two formats contributing to his winning the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Cricketer of the Year.
Smith was “thrilled” to receive the awards, but said he would end 2015 with “mixed feelings”.
“Given that there are so many great players around the world, I’m incredibly honoured to receive these awards,” he said. “While team success is always my number one motivation, awards like this are very special. I’m thrilled and very proud to receive them.
“I will look back on 2015 with mixed feelings. Winning the ICC Cricket World Cup at home was a career highlight, and being appointed captain is a great honour, but the disappointment of losing the Ashes remains.
“To be the best team that we can be, we have to become better at winning away from home, and that remains our motivation heading into 2016.”
Former UAE captain Khurram Khan was named Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year, while Richard Kettleborough got the Umpire of the Year award for the third straight year.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum, who has announced he will retire from international cricket in February, bagged the Spirit of Cricket award, for “inspiring his side to play the game in its true spirit”. McCullum said his team-mates deserved as much recognition for buying into his sportsmanlike vision of cricket.
“The team has loved how the New Zealand public and cricket fans from around the world have responded to the way we’ve played our cricket in the last 12 months,” he said. “I think the Spirit of Cricket is hugely important and I feel extremely honoured to have received the award. It does take buy in from the entire team though and the rest of the Blackcaps squad needs to be recognised for this as well.”