Opening batsman David Warner on Wednesday night became just the 11th player to receive Australian cricket’s greatest individual honour when he was named the Allan Border medallist for 2016 in Melbourne. (Read More in Cricket)
The 29 year-old from New South Wales, who was elevated to the Test and One-Day International vice-captaincy during the voting period, also collected Test Player of the Year honours.
Glenn Maxwell was named Cricket Australia’s One-Day International Player of the Year, while all-rounder Ellyse Perry won her first Belinda Clark Award for the country’s best-performed female player.
Western Australia and Perth Scorchers captain Adam Voges secured the award for the Domestic Player of the Year while South Australian and Adelaide Strikers batsman Alex Ross was named Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year.
Jeff Thomson and Wally Grout were also formally inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame to complete cricket’s night of nights at Crown in Melbourne.
Warner bests Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc
Warner polled a total of 240 votes in the Allan Border Medal count to finish ahead of Australia captain and last year’s Allan Border medallist Steve Smith, who collected 219 votes during the same period. Mitchell Starc (183) finished third in the count, despite missing a large portion of the 2015-16 summer with injury.
Warner registered six centuries and nine half-centuries at a blistering strike-rate of 90.91 during the voting period that started with the ODI against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground on January 16, 2015 and ran through to the third Test against the West Indies that wrapped up on January 7, this year.
In total, warner scored 1990 runs for Australia across the three formats of Tests, ODIs and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) at 56.86, including a highest score of 253 in the second Test against New Zealand at the WACA Ground in Perth. His efforts in the Test arena saw him register 30 votes for the period, ahead of Steve Smith (24 votes) and Mitchell Starc (18 votes).
Warner surprised with double delight
Reflecting on his two awards, the left-hander said: “I was really nervous and can’t believe I have got across the line (to win both the Test Player of the Year Award and the Allan Border Medal). I think I am going to have to sit down over the next couple of weeks and let it all sink in.
“I have had to turn myself around and my wife Candice has been a huge part of that. I have wanted to be a big part of the Australian team and she has always told me to set myself goals and to keep believing in myself.
“I set my goals as going out there and doing what I can for the team, and trying to score hundreds is my goal — and big hundreds. I have been lucky enough to be playing cricket with my mates and I am passionate about that.”
Maxwell better than Starc, Marsh
In ODIs, Glenn Maxwell (28 votes) edged out Mitchell Starc (25 votes) and Mitchell Marsh (23 votes) for player-of-the-year honours. Throughout the voting period, the Victorian averaged 46 with the bat at a strike rate of 135.86 from 19 matches. During that time, he registered his maiden ODI hundred off just 51 balls against Sri Lanka at the Sydney Cricket Ground during the ICC Cricket World Cup.
The 27 year-old said: “It is pretty exciting to win this award and it is pretty exciting to think about how much success we have had over the past 12 months.
“The (ICC Cricket) World Cup was something else, and to win this award in a year when we won a Cricket World Cup in our home country is an absolute honour. It is pretty special.”
(With inputs from Cricket Australia)