Melie Kerr and Daryl Mitchell have been recognised as the country’s outstanding women’s and men’s cricketers of the year, carrying off the inaugural Debbie Hockley Medal and the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal, respectively, at tonight’s ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards ceremony in Auckland.
Mitchell, who also won the Redpath Cup for men’s first-class batting, was recognised for a stand-out year across the board but particularly at Test level, where he scored four centuries, played a leading hand in the BLACKCAPS’ last ball win against Sri Lanka at Christchurch, and rose to No.8 in the World Test batting rankings.
He ended the year with 913 Test runs at an average of 70.23, including a highest score of 190 against England at Trent Bridge. In 16 Test innings he scored 50 or more on nine occasions.
Kerr, the first player to be awarded the newly-minted Debbie Hockley Medal for the most outstanding women’s cricketer of the year, was also named the ANZ Women’s T20I Player of the Year.
The leg-spinning all-rounder was her T20I team’s second-highest run-scorer with 423 runs at 32.53 (strike-rate 112.20) and equal second-highest wicket-taker with 17 at 20.41, achieved with an economy rate of 5.52. She also averaged 40.66 with the bat in ODIs.
Kerr’s team-mate Suzie Bates was named the ANZ Women’s ODI Player of the Year following significant contributions with the bat against both the West Indies and Bangladesh, against whom she struck three half centuries, a highest score of 93 not out, and averaged 55.55.
BLACKCAPS wicket-keeper Tom Blundell was recognised for his continued improvement in red-ball cricket with the ANZ Test Player of the Year award.
Blundell totalled 849 runs at 60.64 with the bat, including two centuries and six half-centuries.
He was polished behind the stumps, effecting 38 dismissals, including nine stumpings and the scrambling, diving catch down the legside to complete the dismissal of England’s James Anderson, sealing the BLACKCAPS’ one-run Test win at the Cello Basin Reserve.
Blundell’s Test captain, Tim Southee, was the winner of the Winsor Cup for men’s first-class bowling after another strong year in the five-day format, taking 32 Test wickets and increasing his career tally to 370, in the process overtaking Daniel Vettori as New Zealand’s second highest Test wicket-taker to Sir Richard Hadlee.
Glenn Phillips was rewarded for a brilliant season for the BLACKCAPS in the shortest format of the game by being named the ANZ Men’s T20I Player of the Year award, having thrilled New Zealand supporters with 740 runs at 38.94, scored at a strike-rate of 148.89.
Phillips scored a century against Sri Lanka in the ICC T20 World Cup, added six more half-centuries, was selected in the World Cup tournament team, and was named man of the series against Ireland, Scotland, the West Indies and India.
He was also one of the BLACKCAPS most exciting fielders, taking 18 catches - several of them worthy of catch-of-the-season discussions.
Michael Bracewell was named the ANZ Men’s ODI Player of the Year after a stand-out season in which he scored 510 runs at 42.50, including two eye-opening centuries: an unbeaten 127 off 82 balls against Ireland, and an even more remarkable 140 off 78 balls against India at Hyderabad.
Bracewell also continued his development as a useful off-spinner, taking 14 wickets at a respectable economy rate of 5.32.
On the domestic front, Kate Anderson was recognised for a break-out year for Canterbury with the bat, winning the Ruth Martin Cup for domestic women’s batting, the Dream11 Women’s Super Smash Player of the Year award, as well as being named the Women’s Domestic Player of the Year.
Anderson’s exceptional summer included breaking Suzie Bates’ run-scoring record for a Super Smash season with 536 runs at 59.55 (strike-rate 115.02), while striking a total of 59 boundaries – the most for either the men’s or women’s competitions.
She also posted the highest score in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield competition – 141, while closing out the competition as the fourth-equal highest run-scorer.
Anderson’s Canterbury team-mate, Gabby Sullivan, was awarded the Phyl Blackler Cup for women’s domestic bowling, after another strong season in which she dominated the wicket-taking charts in both the 50-over and 20-over formats.
Sullivan led all wicket-takers in the Dream11 Super Smash with 21 at 12.38, including an economy rate of 5.89, and was also top of the list in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, in which she took 21 wickets at 15.05, with an economy rate of 3.88.
Otago Volts all-rounder Dean Foxcroft dominated the domestic awards for men, his impressive form with bat and ball securing him the Dream11 Men’s Super Smash Player of the Year, and the Men’s Domestic Player of the Year Awards.
Foxcroft played a leading hand in the Volts reaching the Men’s Super Smash elimination final, leading all scorers with 424 runs at a strike-rate of 131, while taking nine wickets at an economy rate of seven, including figures of five for 11 against the Auckland Aces.
At the time of judging, he was also the fifth-highest scorer in the Plunket Shield with an average of 44.
Chris Brown was named the Umpire of the Year after another strong season in New Zealand, during which he was invited by the ICC to stand in a Bangladesh-India Test series, an honour normally reserved for the ICC Elite Panel of umpires.
The Bert Sutcliffe Medal for Outstanding Service to Cricket was awarded to the New Zealand Cricket Players Association long-standing chief executive, Heath Mills.
The citation read by NZC chair Martin Snedden, noted the way Mills had forged a trusting and constructive relationship with NZC, the likes of which has not been replicated anywhere else in the world.
Snedden said Mills was now recognised as the foremost authority on player advocacy in international cricket, and would without doubt be remembered as one of the most influential figures in the history of NZC.
2023 ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards
Debbie Hockley Medal: Melie Kerr
Sir Richard Hadlee Medal: Daryl Mitchell
Bert Sutcliffe Medal for Outstanding Services to Cricket: Heath Mills, chief executive NZCPA
ANZ Women’s ODI Player of the Year: Suzie Bates
ANZ Men’s ODI Player of the Year: Michael Bracewell
ANZ Women’s T20I Player of the Year: Melie Kerr
ANZ Men’s T20I Player of the Year: Glenn Phillips
ANZ Test Player of the Year: Tom Blundell
Women’s Domestic Player of the Year: Kate Anderson (Canterbury Magicians)
Men’s Domestic Player of the Year: Dean Foxcroft (Otago Volts)
Women’s Dream11 Super Smash Player of the Year: Kate Anderson (Canterbury Magicians)
Men’s Dream11 Super Smash Player of the Year: Dean Foxcroft (Otago Volts)
The Redpath Cup for men’s first-class batting: Daryl Mitchell
The Ruth Martin Cup for women’s domestic batting: Kate Anderson (Canterbury Magicians)
The Winsor Cup for men’s first-class bowling: Tim Southee
The Phyl Blackler Cup for women’s domestic bowling: Gabby Sullivan (Canterbury Magicians)
G.J. Gardner Homes New Zealand Umpire of the Year: Chris Brown