Daniel Vettori has been named New Zealand's player of the year at their annual awards ceremony. He has been fighting a lone battle over the winter, as New Zealand's bowling attack has fallen to pieces, but has managed to emerge from the wreckage with 42 wickets at 27 apiece in Tests, and 22 at 20 apiece in ODI's.
During the recent carnage caused by Adam Gilchrist, Vettori has been the only bowler Stephen Fleming has shown any confidence in. It was the same situation in the two Tests played in Australia during November. Martin Sneddon, chief executive of New Zealand cricket said: "His bowling has been superb and he has also continued to show real ability with the bat and has emerged as a leader both on and off the field."
Vettori's successful year comes despite a poor Test series in England, when he only managed four wickets in two matches, before missing the third Test with injury. His figures where boosted by 20 wickets against Bangladesh, including his best haul for the period, 6 for 28 at Dhaka. But it is not just the wickets he brings to Fleming, but the control. He rarely concedes more than 2.5 runs per over in Tests and is also miserly in ODI's. In the Natwest Series final against West Indies he took five for 30, as New Zealand registered their high point of the year.
His batting continues to grow in stature, to the extent that he often proves more troublesome to remove than the top-order, and he proved an able captain when he stood in for Fleming during the one-day series in Bangladesh - if Fleming's trials and tribulations continue a permanent elevation may not be far away.
The other bright spot for New Zealand has been the rise of Hamish Marshall, and his batting success, cumulating in a maiden Test century against Australia at Christchurch, has been recognised with the batting award, while Craig Cumming was named State player of the year.
Player of the year, first-class bowler, one-day bowler Daniel Vettori
First-class batsman, one-day batsman Hamish Marshall
State player Craig Cumming
Outstanding female player in domestic cricket Nic Browne
Female batsmen Haidee Tiffen
Female bowler Rebecca Steele
Outstanding services to cricket Merv Wallace