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Ross Taylor wins NZ cricket's top award for 3rd time

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Veteran batsman Ross Taylor has won the Sir Richard Hadlee Medal as New Zealand’s cricket player of the year, claiming the top award for the third time in its 10-year history.

The presentation was made by Hadlee on Friday, on the final day of New Zealand Cricket’s virtual awards ceremony.

In a season of milestones, Taylor surpassed Stephen Fleming as New Zealand’s leading test run-scorer and became the first player from any nation to play 100 international matches in all three formats.

The 36-year-old scored 1,389 runs across in tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches in the 2019-2020 season, playing in all but one of New Zealand’s 32 internationals in the awards period.

“It’s been full of ups and downs,” Taylor said. “A World Cup final, losing that final. The Boxing Day test which was such a proud moment to be part of and to have so many Kiwis there supporting us was something I’ll never forget."

Hadlee, regarded as New Zealand’s greatest cricketer, spoke to Taylor by video link in a ceremony forced online by the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’ve followed your career since 2006 as I was part of the selection panel when you played your first ODI and then test match," Hadlee said. “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.

“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.”

Seam bowler Tim Southee was named New Zealand’s Test Player of the Year after previously winning the award as best bowler. In the four tests New Zealand won during the awards period Southee took 25 wickets at an average of 16.4.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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