'It'll be a close call' - Taylor cites NZ's Bates as main opponent for ICC award
Jermaine Lannaman, Gleaner Writer
West Indies Women's all-rounder Stafanie Taylor believes New Zealand Women captain and all-rounder Suzie Bates is her main rival for the 2013 ICC Women's One-Day International (ODI) Cricketer of the Year Award.
The two, who performed admirably throughout the year at the ICC World Cup, as well as ODI series, are among a shortlist of six candidates for the award.
"I think it will be a close call between me and New Zealand's Suzie Bates for the award," Taylor told The Gleaner.
"I know Charlotte Edwards of England will also be there in the mix, but I think Bates and I did really well this year."
Taylor, who is seeking a third straight hold on the coveted award, is currently ranked No. 1 across all three categories of ICC Women's ODI player rankings - batting, bowling and all-rounder.
She was also a leading figure in guiding West Indies to a maiden ICC Women's World Cup final appearance in India in February.
Taylor finished as the second highest run-scorer during the tournament after amassing 314 runs at an average of 44.85. This included a century and a half-century.
The free-flowing stroke-maker was also influential in guiding West Indies to an historic 2-1 win over Bates and her New Zealand counterparts at Sabina Park in October.
Taylor scored 182 runs throughout the series, including a top-score of 135 not out. She also averaged an impressive 91 and was later named Player of the Series.
Bates, who scored 110 in the opening match of the series, ended second in the batting standings with 114 runs at an average of 38.
Bates, however, has the coveted distinction of being named Player of the Tournament for the World Cup after compiling 407 runs at an average 67.83. This included a century and three 50s.
"Her (Bates) team did not make it to the final (of the World Cup). However, her performances were outstanding, as evidenced by the Player of the Tournament Award," said Taylor.
"I think, however, the two one-day series here in the Caribbean is where I came back and did well and what could give me the edge over her."
Taylor, in the meanwhile, also took more wickets with her off spin, as opposed to Bates and her medium pacers, during the World Cup as well the one-day series. She believes this, too, could work in her favour.
"I find that my all-round performances have been better than hers as well, and that the hope is that this will strengthen my chances in the end."
The other candidates for the Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year aware are Englands' Anya Shrubsole, South Africa's Dane van Niekerk, and Australian World Cup-winning batter, Meg Lanning.
In the meanwhile, Taylor, Bates and Lanning have also been nominated for the ICC Women's Twenty20 International Cricketer of the Year award.
The awards, along with their ICC men's equivalent, will be announced on Saturday.