Williamson wins Sir Richard Hadlee Medal for fourth time

Kate Williamson in this file photo (Source: Flickr/ Mark Lockett) [https://www.flickr.com/photos/marklucylockett/48031452747/]

New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won his fourth Sir Richard Hadlee medal for excelling across formats and was also adjudged the ‘Test Player of the Year’ in the country’s annual cricket awards on Tuesday.

Devon Conway won the men’s ODI and T20 Player of the Year during the 2020-21 awards season which was conducted digitally for a second year running because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Williamson’s incredible home Test summer helped him clinch the two awards alongside the Redpath Cup for first-class batting, after he amassed a whopping 639 runs in just four innings at an average of 159. He claimed the big prize for the fourth time in last six years.

In bowler friendly conditions, Williamson, the number one ranked Test batsman in ICC standings, recorded his top international score of 251 against the West Indies in Hamilton.

He also notched a Boxing Day Test century on his home ground of Bay Oval in Tauranga, before adding another double-century against Pakistan at Hagley Oval in Christchurch – to help the Black Caps book their place in the ICC World Test Championship Final.

“Going into the Test summer – there was that Championship Final carrot and there was a real drive there for the guys,” Williamson told Sir Richard Hadlee upon receiving the news of the award on a phone call.

“Although it seemed a long way off, winning four Tests before you’ve started one is a pretty lofty goal and we knew we just had to try and play as well as we could and commit to what was in front of us.

“…certainly pretty proud as a leader and a player in this side that we were able to achieve some of those things and we’re looking forward to that final,” he added.

Former batsman Jeff Crowe was honoured with the Bert Sutcliffe Medal for outstanding services to cricket. Crowe represented the country in 39 Tests and 75 ODIs between 1983 and 1990, captained the side on 22 occasions and was later appointed manager of the New Zealand team.