Taylor wins Kiwi cricket's top award, eyes World Cup exit in India

Pacer Tim Southee was named New Zealand’s Test Player of the Year after previously winning the award as best bowler.

Ross Taylor is the first player from any nation to play 100 international matches in all three formats.   -  AP

Veteran batsman Ross Taylor has won the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal as New Zealand’s cricket player of the year, claiming the top award for the third time in its 10-year history.

The presentation was made by Hadlee on Friday, on the final day of New Zealand Cricket’s virtual awards ceremony.

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In a season of milestones, Taylor surpassed Stephen Fleming as New Zealand’s leading Test run-scorer and became the first player from any nation to play 100 international matches in all three formats.

The 36-year-old scored 1,389 runs across in tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches in the 2019-2020 season, playing in all but one of New Zealand’s 32 internationals in the awards period.

"It’s been full of ups and downs. A World Cup final, losing that final. The Boxing Day test which was such a proud moment to be part of and to have so many Kiwis there supporting us was something I’ll never forget,” Taylor said.

“The biggest thing, I think, is the hunger and the mental motivation to keep getting better, if that's still there then age is just a number.”

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Taylor said he would remain with the Black Caps as long as he felt he deserved his spot and was contributing to the team.

“I'll see if I can get to (age) 38 or 39, which will be the next World Cup, and we'll see from there,” he said.

Taylor made his international debut in 2006 and has since played 101 Tests, 232 one-dayers and 100 T20s.

"I’ve followed your career since 2006 as I was part of the selection panel when you played your first ODI and then test match,” Hadlee said.

“I’ve watched your progress over the past 14 years and I just want to congratulate you on all your performances and records to date.

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"You’ve been a wonderful performer, you’ve got a fantastic record and on behalf of New Zealand Cricket I’d just like to say thanks very much for your contribution, not only to New Zealand cricket, but to world cricket.”

Seam bowler Tim Southee was named New Zealand’s Test Player of the Year after previously winning the award as best bowler. In the four tests New Zealand won during the awards period Southee took 25 wickets at an average of 16.4.

(With inputs from AFP)

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