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Windies’ star duo

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

Windies’ star duo

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COLOMBO – Exciting West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine and women’s batting star Stafanie Taylor walked away with honours at the International Cricket Council (ICC) awards ceremony here yesterday.
Narine captured the Emerging Cricketer of the Year award, while Taylor took the Women’s One-Day International (ODI) Cricketer of the Year award.
Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara won the top award by taking the Test Player of the Year honour.
Narine, a 24-year-old from Trinidad and Tobago, followed in the footsteps of last year’s winner and fellow West Indies spinner, Devendra Bishoo, in claiming the award.
The off-spinner played in three Tests, claiming 12 wickets at an average of 31.50, while in 15 ODIs, he claimed 28 wickets at an average of 18.82.
“We’ve a good junior set-up, so hopefully, the awards [will] keep coming for us,” Narine said.
“I think this has been the best 12 months for me and I just keep adapting the best [I can]. Hopefully, I can keep doing the best I can and keep competing for the West Indies.
“I need to digest this and [take] this one step at time and enjoy every minute that I play.
“This award means a lot for me and it’s an encouragement to keep going and continue to improve.
“I dedicate this award to my father, who kept pushing me, who took me to the Queen’s Park Oval regularly and told me I would have my moment, and I’d like to thank him for his help and all my family who support me.”
Narine was the top choice of the 32-person voting academy, coming out ahead of Sri Lanka’s Dinesh Chandimal, Doug Bracewell, of New Zealand, and Australia’s James Pattinson.
Taylor took the accolade ahead of West Indies teammate Anisa Mohammed, and current opponents Lydia Greenway and Sarah Taylor of England.
“It was quite a shocker,” Taylor said. “I expected to win the Twenty20 Player of the Year award, rather than ODI Player of the Year. “But I am very appreciative and it shows all the hard work that I have been putting into my game is bearing fruit.”
During the voting period between August 4 last year and August 6 this year, the 21-year-old Taylor played in 13 ODIs for Windies Women, scoring 514 runs at the top of the order at an average of 46.72. Her steady off-spin also claimed 16 wickets at 13.12 apiece.
“I thought there were other players, like India’s Mithali Raj, who had better stats for the last year than I did,” she said.
“I thought I had better T20 stats, so I expected to have a better chance at winning the T20 Player of the Year award.”
The award brought to a close a memorable period for Taylor. She was part of the West Indies women’s side that won the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier last November in Bangladesh, the side finishing undefeated.
Last month, she also led her native Jamaica to the Regional Women’s Twenty20 title, earning the Most Valuable Player of the tournament award.
Sangakkara scored 1 444 runs in 14 Test matches between August 2011 and August 2012 at an average of 60.16, with five centuries and five half-centuries.
He also amassed 1 457 runs at 42.85 from 37 ODIs in the same period, during which he picked up 42 dismissals as his country’s wicketkeeper.
The 34-year-old edged out a shortlist of South Africa’s Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander and Australia’s Michael Clarke to win the award.
“This is an amazing honour,” said Sangakkara, who also won the people’s choice award.
“I’ve seen the people who have won it before me and the nominees too, to be named alongside them is wonderful. I admire them greatly and even more so when I looked up at their records on the screen this evening.”
India’s Virat Kohli was named One-Day Cricketer of the Year for his 1 733 limited-overs runs at an average of 66.65. (CMC/Reuters/HG)