BLACKCAPS pace bowler Tim Southee has crowned a stellar season by winning the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal at the ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards.
On the final day of the three-day awards ceremony, Southee shared the podium with Bert Sutcliffe Medal recipient Penny Kinsella; the ANZ Test Player of the Year, Devon Conway, and the women’s and men’s Domestic Players of the Year – Nensi Patel, and joint male winners Tom Bruce and Robbie O’Donnell, respectively.
Southee, who has not previously been awarded NZC’s supreme award, the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal, was named the winner on the basis of his sheer consistency throughout the summer; at home and abroad, in red and white ball cricket.
Already named as the winner of this year’s Winsor Cup for first-class bowling, he captured 36 Test wickets at 23.88, including best figures of six for 43 against England at Lord’s and five crucial wickets against India in the victorious ICC World Test Championship Final at Southampton.
Southee has now taken 338 Test wickets – 23 fewer than Daniel Vettori and 93 short of the record-holder the award is named after, Sir Richard Hadlee.
“It’s a huge honour to win such a prestigious award,” Southee said, speaking from India where he is currently playing in the IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
“Like most cricketers growing up I knew all about the exploits of Sir Richard and it’s certainly pretty humbling to win his award this year.
“While the accolades are nice, I think it really just reflects the way we have worked together as a group and played our cricket for a long period of time.
“It’s been great to be a part of this period and being able to win games for our country which is something that’s very special.”
Kinsella, a former New Zealand Test representative who has since devoted herself to growing the game and particularly the women’s game, was awarded the Bert Sutcliffe Medal, considered by NZC to be the most prestigious of the non-playing awards.
The daughter of first-class cricketer and international umpire Dave, Kinsella is a teacher and was a driving force behind re-introducing cricket for girls at Onslow College in Wellington, where she is currently employed as Deputy Principal.
She has fulfilled many voluntary roles in cricket since her retirement as a player, including managing teams, coaching provincial, New Zealand A and South Island teams and squads, and three stints as a WHITE FERNS selector.
As well as this, Kinsella was actively involved in the amalgamation of the New Zealand Women’s Cricket Council and the New Zealand (Men’s) Cricket Council in the early 1990s and, more recently, was part of the project team compiling the history of women’s cricket in New Zealand.
She still assists Cricket Wellington with selecting and coaching age group squads, and mentoring players, and is on the board of the Cricket Museum, based at the Basin Reserve.
“It was a lovely phone call to receive and I was just so humbled,” Kinsella said.
“The things I do – I do because I want to do it for people. I want to recognise and keep people from the past involved so they can continue to be proud of what they’ve done in the game.
“I also have a real passion for developing young players and I’m hoping I can produce a New Zealand player out of that soon.
“We need to take the flow from this recent Women’s Cricket World Cup and really build on it because the women’s game is on the rise.”
Wellington awards the Penny Kinsella Trophy, annually, to the Most Valuable Under-19 player.
Conway carried off the ANZ Test Player of the Year Award after starring on debut with a double-century against England at Lord’s, and making two more centuries, while amassing 767 runs at 63.91 over the season.
It completes a remarkable trifecta of ANZ International awards for the 30-year-old Conway, who last year picked up the T20I and ODI awards following his sensational debut season with the BLACKCAPS.
The Women’s Domestic Player of the Year went to Northern Brave spinning all-rounder, Patel, on the back of her strong form across the Dream11 Super Smash and the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield competitions: 11 wickets in the former, and 18 at 17.83 to top the wicket-taking charts in the latter.
Central Stags batsman Tom Bruce and Auckland Aces captain Robbie O’Donnell were named as joint winners of the Men’s Domestic Player of the Year Award after the judges found it difficult to separate the pair.
O’Donnell led his side to the Plunket Shield title, scoring with 502 runs at 83.67 with a game to go; helped the Aces capture the Ford Trophy with 283 runs at 40.43; and also played a useful role in the Dream11 Super Smash, scoring 227 runs at 25.22.
On the other hand, Bruce scored 858 Plunket Shield runs at 143, including back to back double-centuries, and along the way became the first New Zealander to score more than 500 first-class runs without being dismissed.
The final day also saw moments of excellence honored – including Ajaz Patel’s rare feat of claiming all ten wickets in an innings against India, Kane Williamson and Kyle Jamieson’s selection in the ICC Test Team of 2021 and Daryl Mitchell’s ICC Spirt of Cricket award.