Ross Taylor was awarded the top prize at the 2020 New Zealand Cricket Awards, winning the Sir Richard Hadlee medal for an outstanding year that saw the batsman score 1389 runs across formats. Taylor had a wonderful year, scoring two hundreds and nine half-centuries across all formats and went past former captain Stephen Fleming to become New Zealand’s all-time leading run-scorer in Tests. Also Read - 'We are Not Best Friends' - Brendon McCullum on Fallout with Ross Taylor

“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,” said Hadlee when conferring the honour upon Taylor via video link. Also Read - Tim Southee Defends Virat Kohli's Outburst During Christchurch Test

“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.” Also Read - IND vs NZ 2nd Test: Virat Kohli's Horror Run in New Zealand Continues as Tim Southee Dismisses Him For Record 10th Time

Taylor has been part of New Zealand’s set-up for more than 14 years and was a key part of their run up to two consecutive World Cup finals – in 2015 and 2019. However, at 36, the veteran New Zealand batsman is eyeing another World Cup – in India in the year 2023 – hoping to get lucky a third time.

“It’s been an amazing year, it’s been full of ups and downs,” he said. “The biggest thing, I think, is the hunger and the mental motivation to keep getting better, if that’s still there then age is just a number. I’ll see if I can get to (age) 38 or 39, which will be the next World Cup, and we’ll see from there.”

Taylor’s New Zealand teammate Tim Southee was recognised as the top Test player of the year. He picked up 40 wickets at an average of 21.47 during the season.

“To perform in the format is very pleasing and the stats are nice, but at the end of the day there’s a lot of work from your teammates that go into those numbers,” said Southee. “The guys taking the catches, the guys bowling at the other end creating pressure – it’s a collective group effort and this award is a representation of that.”