Test player of the year: David Warner. Photo: Mark Metcalfe Superstar: All-rounder Ellyse Perry. Photo: Daniel Kalisz
One-day specialist: Glenn Maxwell. Photo: Ryan Pierse
Warner: Awards a reward for turning life aroundBest dressed on the red carpet
If getting the vice-captaincy was a sign of just how much David Warner has matured as a person then claiming the top two awards at the Allan Border Medal was recognition of how far he has progressed as a player.
Warner arrived at Wednesday night’s ceremony in Melbourne thinking Steve Smith was a shoo-in for the top gong – and probably more. His judgement for that was not as sound as his judgement with the willow. He instead claimed the Allan Border Medal, and was also crowned Test player of the year, on a night that featured first-time winners in every category.
Even though the left-hander has been a fixture of the national team in all formats for four years this was the first time he had been honoured for his performances for Australia. The 29-year-old’s only previous gong was winning the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year.
The votes for the Allan Border Medal come across all formats, weighted to Test, and are sourced from two groups: players, and media representatives and umpires. Warner’s votes were evenly split between the two, showing the admiration he had earned from both, for a year in which he scored a total of 1990 runs in all formats at an average of 56.86, with nine centuries and six half-centuries.
While runner-up Smith outscored Warner for the period, and scored an additional century, it was the deputy who triumphed.
The peak of Warner’s year came at the start of the summer in the Tests against New Zealand. Doubts about his capability to cope with a fractured thumb that had not fully mended were dispelled as he began the series against the Black Caps in commanding fashion, with 163 and 116 at the Gabba and 253 at the WACA Ground.
What pushed Warner in front for the Test award and top awards was earning top votes for the rain-plagued Sydney Test, for his century on the final day.
Left-arm paceman Mitch Starc finished third behind Warner and Smith for Allan Border Medal and Test Player of the Year. Paceman Josh Hazlewood and batsman Adam Voges completed the top five.
Starc was set to be rewarded for his superb white-ball form last summer, most notably in the World Cup, with One-Day Player of the Year. He nevertheless emerged without a gong after teammate Glenn Maxwell overtook him in Australia’s last one-day series for the voting period, away to England.
Starc did not poll a vote in any of his four matches. Half of Maxwell’s 28 votes for the year came in that series, taking him just past Starc.
The left-armer would have been a deserved winner, having taking 41 wickets at 16.27 in one-dayer. That is not to say Maxwell was undeserving; averaging 46 at a strike-rate of 135.86, and also contributing with the ball and in the field, showed how much the 27-year-old had, like Warner, matured.
All-rounder Mitch Marsh upstaged Smith and Warner to finish third for the one-day award.
There was no Twenty20 award, given Australia only played one match for the period.
Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning was denied a third consecutive Belinda Clark Medal by the team’s others superstar player, Ellyse Perry. The all-rounder, who scored more runs and took more wickets than anyone else in the period, comfortably claimed the top individual award for women’s cricket in Australia. Seamer Rene Farrell finished third.
Perry’s batting was at its strongest in one-day cricket, while her fast-bowling was pivotal to the Stars winning last year’s Ashes series away to England, most notably her nine-wicket haul in the Test.
The first recognition of Adam Voges’ astonishing Sheffield Shield season last year, when he plundered 1358 runs at an average of 104.46, came when he was given a Test debut at 35. The second came in him being votes by his peers as Domestic Player of the Year, ahead of Western Australia teammate and South Australia’s Callum Ferguson.
Redbacks batsman Alex Ross, whose proficiency sweeping spinners saw him surge to prominence in the Matador Cup and Big Bash League, won Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year. The 23-year-old claimed the award, also peer-voted, ahead of Victoria batsman Travis Dean and WA paceman Joel Paris.
Allan Border Medal 1: David Warner 2: Steve Smith 3: Mitch Starc 4: Josh Hazlewood 5: Adam Voges 6: Glenn Maxwell 7: Nathan Lyon 8: Chris Rogers 9: Mitch Marsh 10: Pat Cummins
Test Player of the Year 1: David Warner 2: Steve Smith 3: Nathan Lyon
One-Day Player of the Year 1: Glenn Maxwell 2: Mitch Starc 3: Mitch Marsh
Belinda Clark Medal 1: Ellyse Perry 2: Meg Lanning 3: Rene Farrell
Domestic Player of the Year 1: Adam Voges (WA) 2: Michael Klinger (WA) 3: Callum Ferguson (SA)
Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year 1: Alex Ross (SA) 2: Travis Dean (Vic) 3: Joel Paris (WA)
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