Sophie Devine won the International T20I Player of the Year award while Suzie Bates was the International ODI Player of the Year in the New Zealand Cricket Awards on Thursday (April 30).
Devine, who was handed over the reins of the New Zealand side before the T20 World Cup, had a terrific season, especially in T20Is, where she made six consecutive scores of fifty or more – a record across gender. It was a continuation of her purple patch, during which she was the leading run-scorer in the Women’s Big Bash League as well.
“What can I say? Sophie had an exceptional season with the bat in T20 cricket,” said Bob Carter, New Zealand’s coach. “Our T20 side is at its best when Sophie is scoring runs at the top. She gives others around her the freedom to play their natural game.”
Devine scored 429 runs in the season at an average of 71 and a strike rate of 132. She also made her first ton in the format in the series against South Africa.
“Sophie’s ability with the ball in T20 cricket goes under the radar at times. She will often step up and bowl the hard overs and uses changes of pace to her advantage. She is a top quality all-rounder and an exceptional T20 talent.”
Devine’s ‘Smash Sister’, Bates, showed her class in the ODIs against South Africa where she scored 142 runs at an average of 42, including two half centuries in the three-match series. That reinforced her image as one of the best ODI players in the world.
“Suzie has been a world class performer for many years,” said Carter. “She can be proud of another strong season in the ODI colours for the White Ferns.”
“She paces an ODI innings really well and has the ability to read fields and pre-empt what opposition captains are trying to do and how they are looking to contain or restrict her game. Suzie is always hungry for more runs; she will think she let two chances slide to score big hundreds. That’s the kind of world class attitude and dedication to her game that she has and why she has been a strong contributor to the WHITE FERNS for so long.”
“It was a really tough series against South Africa, we hadn’t played a lot (before that),” said Bates.
“I tried to spend some time in the middle. I was fortunate to get a couple of starts but wasn’t able to kick on.”