LONDON, CMC – Devendra Bishoo and Stafanie Taylor kept the West Indies flag flying high, and have both been recognised for their outstanding form inside the last year, when they scooped honours yesterday at the International Cricket Council Awards.
Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo won the Emerging Player-of-the-Year award, and all-rounder Taylor won the Women’s Player-of-the-Year.
The 25-year-old Bishoo played in five Test matches in the voting period – August 11 last year, and August 3 this year – and took 21 wickets with an average of 35.42.
He also collected 19 scalps at 21.57 apiece in 11 One-day Internationals, and another five wickets at 9.60 each in two Twenty20 Internationals.
Bishoo said the award came as a bit of a surprise and dedicated it to his father Mohanlall, who died when he was eight years old.
“I could not believe it when I was nominated. . .but to win it feels great,” he said in an official release through the West Indies Cricket Board.
“I’m very happy. I would like to dedicate the award to my father. He played a great role in my life, and encouraged me to play cricket. After he died, I made a promise to always give my best and reach for the top.”
Bishoo, who was unable to attend the ceremony, was the top choice of the 25-member voting academy, finishing ahead of team-mate Darren Bravo, and the Pakistan pair of Wahab Riaz and Azhar Ali against whom he played in the home series earlier this year.
“I hope I can continue to represent the West Indies with pride and improve my bowling and keep taking as many international wickets as I can,” said Bishoo.
He added: “It has been a challenging start to my international career so far, but it has been an enjoyable start.
“The highlights so far have been playing in the World Cup, playing my first Test match on home soil, and playing against India. I have learned a lot in a short space of time, and I want to continue learning.”
Previous winners of the Emerging Player award are Irfan Pathan (2004), Kevin Pietersen (2005), Ian Bell (2006), Shaun Tait (2007), Ajantha Mendis (2008), Peter Siddle (2009), and Steven Finn (2010).
After near misses in the last few years, the 20-year-old Taylor set herself the goal of winning the award, and has accomplished the task.
She played 10 ODIs for during the voting period, scoring 610 runs at an average of 76.25, and claimed 15 wickets with her off-spin.
Taylor also gathered 49 runs and scalped five wickets in T20I in the period, helping her to take the award ahead of England duo Charlotte Edwards and Lydia Greenway, as well as last year’s winner Shelley Nitschke of Australia.
“I was not totally surprised, and it feels really good to be recognised in this way,” said Taylor. “I worked hard and I played well, and the most important thing is that I tried to contribute to the team all the time.
“I want to say a big thank you to my team-mates and the support staff of the West Indies Women’s and the Jamaica Women’s teams who have been offering encouragement all the time.
“I also want to thank my family for all the support they continue to give me and I hope I can continue to represent the West Indies with pride.”
The award completes a successful year for Taylor, a member of the West Indies side that was victorious as the ICC Women’s Twenty20 Cricket Challenge in South Africa.
She rose to No.2 in batting in the ICC Women’s Rankings, and is in the top-five all-rounders as well.
Last month, she led her native Jamaica to the WICB Regional Women’s One-day title, beating three-time defending champions Trinidad & Tobago – led by West Indies Women’s captain Merissa Aguilleira – in the Final.
She was unable to attend the ceremony to collect her award in person due to finishing the home series against Pakistan in which West Indies Women were dominant, although she was a little below her best.
“I did well in South Africa last year, and I did well in India earlier this year, so the runs I scored helped to put me ahead of the other girls,” she said.
“My best performance, in my book, was the first ODI in India when we won to take the lead in the series. I made 85 not out to win the match for the team. The way I batted for my team on that occasion was very pleasing, and that is the way I want to bat all the time.”
Taylor is the most successful West Indies Women’s player in history. Overall, she has made 1,468 runs at an average of 43.17 and taken 50 wickets at 16.70 apiece in 40 ODIs, and in 24 T20 Internationals, she has made 661 runs at 34.78 and collected 20 wickets at 19.35 each.
“I said before the awards that my goal was to be the No.1 women’s cricketer in the World, and I’m on my way there with the rankings, as well as to be named the winner of this award,” she said.
The Women’s Cricketer-of-the-Year award was one of 10 individual prizes given at this year’s ICC Awards.
England’s Jonathan Trott was named Player-of-the-Year and received the coveted Garfield Sobers Trophy, England teammate Alistair Cook won the Test Player-of-the-Year award, and Kumar Sangakkara was named ODI Player-of-the-Year and copped the People’s Choice award ahead of a list that included West Indies opener Chris Gayle.
Ryan ten Doeschate of the Netherlands won the Associate/Affiliate Player-of-the-Year award, New Zealander Tim Southee grabbed the T20 Performance-of-the-Year award, and Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni collected the Spirit-of-the-Game award for his controversial recall of England batsman Ian Bell in the recent Test at Trent Bridge.
Pakistani Aleem Dar was again voted the Umpire-of-the-Year for the third straight year ahead of a field that included Dominica’s Billy Doctrove.
Also, no West Indies player made it into either the Test or ODI Team-of-the-Year selections.