COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC) — Exciting West Indies off-spinner Sunil Narine added to his steadily growing list of achievements when he won the Emerging Cricketer-of-the-Year honour at the International Cricket Council Awards Ceremony here yesterday.
He was one of two West Indies players celebrating as top Women's batsman Stafanie Taylor also walked away with the Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year trophy.
The 24-year-old Trinidadian, who has taken the Twenty20 version of the game by storm since his international debut last year, beat out competition from Sri Lanka's Dinesh Chandimal, Doug Bracewell of New Zealand and Australia's James Pattinson.
During the eligibility period, Narine picked up 12 wickets in three Tests at an average 31.50, and 28 wickets at an average of 18.82 from 15 ODIs.
"We've a good junior set-up so hopefully the awards keep coming for us. I think this has been the best 12 months for me and I just keep adapting the best as possible. Hopefully I can keep going the best I can and keep competing for the West Indies," an elated Narine said.
"I need to digest this and 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."
The award comes on the heels of the player's heroics in the Indian Premier League where he captured 24 wickets to be Man-of-the-Series, as he helped Kolkata Knight Riders to their maiden title.
Narine is the second West Indies player in as many years to win the award after Guyanese leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo last year.
Meanwhile, Taylor was also rewarded for her prolific scoring over the last year.
The right-hander, ranked the number two batsman in the world, plundered 514 runs at an average of 46.72 in 13 ODIs during the eligibility period and picked up 16 wickets at an average of 13.12 with her offspin.
"It was quite a shocker. I expected to win the Twenty20 Player-of-the-Year award, rather than ODI Player-of-the-Year," said the 21-year-old who is currently on tour of England with the West Indies Women's squad.
"But I am very appreciative and it shows all the hard work that I have been putting into my game is bearing fruit."
She added: "I thought there were other players, like India's Mithali Raj, who had better stats for the last year than I did.
"I thought I had better T20 stats, so I expected to have a better chance at winning the T20 Player-of-the-Year award."
Only yesterday, Taylor reiterated her value with an unbeaten 40 at the top of the order as West Indies plunged to defeat in the fourth Twenty20 International against England at Hove.
Sri Lanka batsman Kumar Sangakkara won the Sir Garfield Sobers trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, to clinch the top honour at the Awards Ceremony.
The left-hander was named the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award and also awarded the People's Choice trophy.