New Zealand Cricket is to introduce a new Fans’ Choice Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement at its annual Awards ceremony.
The new award is the result of a recommendation by the panel of cricket experts asked annually to select the nominees and winners of the key Award categories presented at The National Bank Awards Dinner.
The 2009/10 panel was former New Zealand Cricket President and selector, Don Neely; former BLACKCAP and current SKY Television commentator, Ian Smith; and veteran Radio Sport commentator, Bryan Waddle.
They observed during their 2009/10 deliberations that an outstanding one-off individual performance can often go without formal recognition within the existing awards structure.
Don Neely noted performances such as Andrew Jones scoring three Test centuries in three successive innings in 1990-91; Alex Tait‘s 1996-97 figures of 9-48 and 7-82 against Auckland; and Suzie Bates scoring 168 against Pakistan in a 2009 ODI as examples of outstanding individual performances.
“Because the new award will be a celebration of outstanding individual performance it will be more subjective than our standard Awards,” said Justin Vaughan, CEO of New Zealand Cricket.
“We have therefore decided to engage the voice of our cricket fans to determine the inaugural winner of the award,” he said.
The award nominees are:
- Ross Taylor – Fastest Test century by a BLACKCAP. Second Test against Australia in Hamilton. His century came off 81 balls.
- Shane Bond – Match winning performance against Pakistan in the first Test at University Oval. He took eight for 153 in his first Test since 2007
- Brendon McCullum – 116 not out against Australia in the second Twenty20 in Christchurch. His score came off 56 balls and included eight sixes and 12 fours
- Tim Southee – Death bowling in the second Twenty20 against Australia in Christchurch. He bowled six near perfect yorkers to tie the match before taking one wicket and limiting Australia to six runs in the ‘Super Over”.
- Peter McGlashan – The Northern Knights keeper took a world record 12 catches in a Plunket Shield game against the Central Stags.
Cricket fans are encouraged to vote online for thier favourite individual performance from the 2009/10 season through into the draw to win a trip to the awards evening to present the award.