Tim Southee, a New Zealand pace bowler, was voted Player of the Year at the 2022 NZC awards, earning him the famous Sir Richard Hadlee medal for the first time in his career.
In the 2021-22 season, Southee took 36 Test wickets at an average of 23.88, including five wickets against India in the ICC World Test Championship final, which New Zealand won. During this time, his best numbers were 6/43 against England at Lord’s.
In the absence of Kane Williamson, he was a member of the side that reached the T20 World Cup final in the UAE. Moreover, the Black Caps paceman also led the side in the shortest format (T20) in India.
On winning the award, Southee said
“Like most cricketers growing up I knew all about the exploits of Sir Richard and it’s certainly pretty humbling to win his award this year,”
“While the accolades are nice, I think it really just reflects the way we have worked together as a group and played our cricket for a long period of time.”
Meanwhile, the man himself, Sir Richard Hadlee, a member of the selection panel that first chose Southee, heaped admiration on the 32-year-old.
Sir Richard Hadlee wants Tim Southee to break his record
Sir Richard Hadlee stated that he would be thrilled if the seamer surpassed his 431 Test wickets total. The former New Zealand bowler said
“You seem to be in total control of your game and bowling as well as you ever have,”
“You’ve got a simple technique which is easy to repeat, and your skill sets have gone to another level.”
Currently, Southee has registered 338 wickets in the longest format. Praising the 33-year-old further, Sir Richard said
“No doubt the 400 Test wickets are in sight and maybe that magic number 431 is in the back of your mind. So, I’ll be watching that with some interest and if you are to reach that mark, I’m prepared to sit here and say, ‘it’s time for me to let it go’. I really do congratulate you Tim on what you’ve achieved and no doubt you’ve got a few more years to give to New Zealand cricket and the game in general.”
Meanwhile, Southee is currently playing for the Indian franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League. Tim Southee will be looking forward to win the T20 World Cup, which will be held in their neighboring country.
Whereas, there were also other accolades distributed during the ceremony.
Will Young, who recently hit two century in a series against the Netherlands, was awarded men’s ODI player of the year, while Amelia Kerr was selected women’s ODI player of the year. Trent Boult and Sophie Devine were selected winners in T20Is. Devon Conway, who made his Test debut against England last year and scored 767 runs at an average of 63.91, was chosen Test player of the year.