Leaupepe named T20 Player of the Year

Leaupepe Ross Tayor won New Zealand Cricket’s Men’s ANZ International T20 Player of the Year award on Thursday.

With New Zealand still in COVID-19 lockdown, the announcement was made live on YouTube as part of this week’s ANZ New Zealand Cricket Awards.

Leaupepe scored 330 runs over the year at a strike-rate of 130.

“A man of Ross’ international experience is very valuable in the fast and furious nature of T20 cricket,” BLACKCAPS coach Gary Stead said.

 “He has the ability to sum up batting conditions quickly and accurately in a variety of venues and countries.

 “This is a skill which serves the team well and helps us adapt plans quickly in the shortest form of the game.”

The award caps a historical year for Leaupepe, who became New Zealand’s highest test match runscorer of all time in January, then became the first player in the history of cricket to play in 100 international matches in all three formats of the game in February.

In a Q&A session after the announcement, Leaupepe said it was great to be a part of what was a fantastic year as a team.

Immediately before his 100th test match for New Zealand, the star batsmen was joined out on the field by his children for the national anthems.

“It’s something that I’ll never forget as a dad and a parent,” Leaupepe said. 

“I’ve achieved a few things on the cricket field from a personal perspective but going out there with your kids is probably one of the highlights of my cricket to date.”

And when asked which of the three cricket formats was his favourite, Leaupepe opted for the original form of the game:

“Twenty20’s the most enjoyable, one day cricket’s probably my best format and I enjoy playing, but test cricket’s the pinnacle, and I really enjoy the intricate details of a test match and how it ebbs and flows. And when you do succeed in a test match it just feels extra special."

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