Kane Williamson was awarded the Sportsman of the Year Award ahead of All Black Dan Carter, Bay of Plenty golfer Danny Lee and motorsport driver Scott Dixon at the Halberg Awards ceremony in Auckland on Thursday night.

The 25-year-old, born-and-raised in Tauranga, became just the second winner of the award from Bay of Plenty after another former Tauranga Boys' College student in four-time winner Mahe Drysdale.

"I was definitely surprised, shocked," Williamson told NZME.

"To get this award, looking at the nominees in the category, guys who have achieved so much. I don't know how they choose one but I am truly humbled to win this award. I've never been before so even to be invited to the awards is a pretty special thing."

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Williamson went from a promising international player to arguably the best batsman in the world in 12 glorious months last year.

He became the first New Zealander to score more than 2000 runs in a calendar year - only two of the game's greats in Ricky Ponting (Australia) and Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) have scored more runs in a 12 month period.

In tests, he became the second New Zealand batsman, after Glenn Turner, to top the ICC Player Rankings for batsmen after scoring 1172 runs in eight tests, the highest ever by a New Zealander, at a Bradman-like average of 90.15. He scored five test centuries in the year.

He was prolific in both ODI 50-over and Twenty20 cricket, scoring a record 2633 runs at an average of 65.82 in all international matches for New Zealand, including eight hundreds and 13 fifties. In 26 One-Day Internationals, Williamson scored 1317 runs at 57.26 with three centuries and eight half-centuries.