YOUNG Momentum Proteas all-rounder Sune Luus has been named in the ICC Women’s Team of the Year 2016, which was announced on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old has had an outstanding 12 months for South Africa, recently passing 50 One-Day International wickets and also recording her higest score of 60 not out against Australia.
She is part of a team, which West Indies' Stafanie Taylor has been named captain of. Taylor is one of two players from the Caribbean named in the team alongside Deandra Dottin.
New Zealand’s Suzie Bates, who has been named both the ICC Women’s ODI and T20I Player of the Year, the first time the same player has won both prizes in the same year, is amongst three cricketers from her country in the team.
The other two are wicketkeeper Rachel Priest and off-spinner Leigh Kasperek.
The side also features two Australians, Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, England’s Heather Knight and Anya Shrubshole and India’s Smriti Mandhana. Kim Garth of Ireland has been named as 12th player.
The side was selected by a panel consisting of Clare Connor (Chair), Mel Jones and Shubhangi Kulkarni, which took into account players’ performances during the period from 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016.
ICC Chief Executive, David Richardson, said: “This is the first time that the ICC has named a women’s team of the year. Congratulations to Stafanie Taylor and the rest of her team on their selection. The quality and depth of the women’s game continues to grow year by year, with a number of outstanding performances during the voting period, the selectors must have had an exceptionally difficult task in settling on the final 12 players.”
Meanwhile, Bates has been rewarded for an outstanding 12 months period between 14 September 2015 and 20 September 2016, which included the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 India 2016 and the ICC Women’s Championship. She scored 472 runs in eight ODIs at an average of just over 94. She also took eight wickets at an economy-rate of 3.75.
In the shortest format of the game, Bates was the leading run-scorer with 429 runs at an average of 42.90 and a strike-rate of over 115 runs per 100 balls.
A delighted Bates said: “It was a bit of a surprise to find out that I had won both these awards. It is always nice to be recognised for performances and after a busy year of cricket, I am pleased to have managed some consistency over both formats.
“The awards are always nice but the most important thing for me is to make sure I am performing consistently and helping put the team in a position to win more games.
“For the past one-and-a-half years, our team has been performing very well and lots of different players have stood up and performed under pressure. It is heartening to see that the team is doing very well going into the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 which will be held in England and Wales.”
Richardson added: “Suzie is a well-deserved recipient of the ICC Women’s ODI and T20I Player of the Year awards, maintaining strong and consistent performances across both formats of the game throughout the 12-month period under consideration.
“Next year promises to be the biggest yet in women’s cricket history with the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2017 in the United Kingdom. We look forward to watching Suzie and the other stars of the women’s game on the biggest stage of them all.”
Bates had won the ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year award in 2013, but has been named as the ICC Women’s T20I Player of the Year for the first time to join the esteemed company of England’s Sarah Taylor (2012 and 2013), Meg Lanning of Australia (2014) and West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor (2015).
The previous ICC Women’s ODI Player of the Year include Australia’s Karen Rolton (2006), Jhulan Goswami of India (2007), Charlotte Edwards of England (2008), Claire Taylor of England (2009), Australia’s Shelley Nitschke (2010), West Indies’ Stafanie Taylor (2011 and 2012), Sarah Taylor of England (2014) and Australia’s Meg Lanning (2015).
Women’s Team of the Year (in batting order):
Suzie Bates (New Zealand)
Rachel Priest (New Zealand) (wicketkeeper)
Smriti Mandhana (India)
Stafanie Taylor (West Indies) (captain)
Meg Lanning (Australia)
Ellyse Perry (Australia)
Heather Knight (England)
Deandra Dottin (West Indies)
Sune Luus (South Africa)
Anya Shrubsole (England)
Leigh Kasperek (New Zealand)
Kim Garth (12th) (Ireland)