Ross Taylor awarded New Zealand’s highest cricket honour

AUCKLAND: Veteran batsman Ross Taylor won New Zealand highest cricketing honour for the third time and vowed to bat on until the 2023 World Cup in India.
The 36-year old was awarded the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal in a virtual ceremony held online because of Covid-19 restrictions. Tim Southee was recognised as the top Test player of the year at the annual cricket awards.
Taylor was a key part of the New Zealand’s run to a second consecutive World Cup final last July where they lost to England. In the past 12 months, he also became New Zealand’s most prolific Test run-scorer and entered the record books as the first cricketer to play 100 internationals in all three formats.
After successive defeats in World Cup deciders, Taylor is targeting the 2023 tournament to be held in India. “It’s been an amazing year, it’s been full of ups and downs,” he 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,” he told reporters.
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.
Ross Taylor racked up 1,389 runs across formats to comfortably top the charts for New Zealand, over 200 runs clear of New Zealand captain Kane Williamson at second.

Taylor’s exploits include two centuries and nine fifties across formats. He also surpassed Stephen Fleming’s tally to become the leading run-scorer for New Zealand in Tests and solidified his place at the top of the charts in ODIs.
“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,” said Hadlee when conferring the honour upon Taylor via video link.
“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.”
Tim Southee and Tom Latham reflected on their Test exploits after claiming honours for first-class achievements in the 2020 New Zealand Cricket Awards and laid special emphasis on their performances from the same Test.
Taylor’s teammate Southee bagged the top Test prize after having picked up 40 wickets during the season. Kim Cotton was named the Umpire of the Year after she became the first woman from New Zealand to officiate in an ICC World Cup final during the Women’s T20 event in Australia.
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