Suzie Bates, the New Zealand captain, was the big winner at the International Cricket Council’s Women’s awards, becoming the first cricketer to clinch both the Women’s One-Day International and Twenty20 International Player of the Year awards following her exploits in the 2015-16 season.
Bates’s overall figures in both formats during the voting period (September 14, 2015 to September 20, 2016) were unparalleled. She scored 472 runs in eight ODIs at an average of 94.40 and took eight wickets with an economy rate of 3.75. She was the leading run-scorer in T20Is, scoring 429 runs in 11 matches at 42.90 at a strike-rate of over 115.
“It was a bit of a surprise to find out that I had won both these awards,” said Bates, currently playing for Perth Scorchers in the Women’s Big Bash League. “It is always nice to be recognised for performances and after a busy year of cricket, I am pleased to have managed some consistency over both formats.
“The awards are always nice but the most important thing for me is to make sure I am performing consistently and helping put the team in a position to win more games.”
Bates’s purple patch has coincided with New Zealand’s good run at the international level. New Zealand remained unbeaten throughout the league stage of the Women’s World T20 before losing to West Indies in the semifinal. Bates also inspired the side to a third-place finish in the ICC Women’s Championship, which earned them automatic qualification for the Women’s World Cup in 2017.
“For the past one-and-a-half years, our team has been performing very well and lots of different players have stood up and performed under pressure. It is heartening to see that the team is doing very well going into the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 which will be held in England and Wales.”
Bates had won the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year award in 2013, but this is the first time she has won the Women’s T20I Player of the Year award, joining previous winners Sarah Taylor (2012, 2013), Meg Lanning (2014) and Stafanie Taylor (2015).
“Suzie is a well-deserved recipient of the ICC Women’s ODI and T20I Player of the Year awards, maintaining strong and consistent performances across both formats of the game throughout the 12-month period under consideration,” said David Richardson, the ICC chief executive.
Bates was also named in the inaugural ICC Women’s Team of the Year, which will be captained by Stafanie Taylor, who led West Indies to their maiden Women’s World T20 title earlier this year.
“This is the first time that the ICC has named a women’s team of the year,” said Richardson. “Congratulations to Stafanie Taylor and the rest of her team on their selection. The quality and depth of the women’s game continues to grow year by year, with a number of outstanding performances during the voting period, the selectors must have had an exceptionally difficult task in settling on the final 12 players.”
Smriti Mandhana, the opening batter, is the lone Indian in the 12-member team.
Women’s Team of the Year (in batting order): Suzie Bates (NZ), Rachel Priest (NZ, wk), Smriti Mandhana (Ind), Stafanie Taylor (WI, capt), Meg Lanning (Aus), Ellyse Perry (Aus), Heather Knight (Eng), Deandra Dottin (WI), Sune Luus (SA), Anya Shrubsole (Eng), Leigh Kasperek (NZ). 12th player: Kim Garth (Ire).