Australian paceman, Pat Cummins, has topped off his career-best year by winning the Allan Border Medal for the first time. The AB Medal recognises the leading men’s Australian cricketer. It is the first time someone apart from Steve Smith and David Warner has won the award in four years.
Clean sweep for Healy
Alyssa Healy easily won the Belinda Clark Award as the top Australian women’s cricketer. Niece to former Australian wicket-keeper Ian Healy, and wife to Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc, Healy completed a clean sweep of the women’s awards. Healy was named player of the T20 World Cup, where Australia won. She scored 225 runs from just five innings.
Tight race in the men’s
It was a tight battle for the AB Medal between Pat Cummins and cult hero, Nathan Lyon. The offspinner polled the top votes in Tests in Adelaide, Abu Dhabi and Perth. However, Cummins’ regular place in the ODI squad gave him an edge over the ‘GOAT.’
Indeed, Cummins took 45 wickets at an average of 25.61 across all formats in what has been a breakthrough year. This didn’t even include his heroic performance against Sri Lanka at the end of January. Cummins finished the vote tally with 156 votes, narrowly passing Lyon on 150, the latter of whom won Test Player of the Year.
Where were Warner and Smith?
The suspended duo were both invited to attend the awards ceremony in Melbourne on Monday night, however, both declined the invitation. Both men only polled a handful of votes due to their suspensions. Ironically, Bancroft was voted Australia’s second best player in the infamous Cape Town Test where he applied sandpaper to the ball.
Is Stoinis mounting a Test claim?
Marcus Stoinis took home the award for Best ODI Player of the Year, with suggestions that he could get a call-up to the Ashes squad later this year. Shane Warne has been a vocal supporter of the all-rounder. He was called up for the Sri Lanka series; however, he did not play. He is yet to make his debut in the Baggy Green. Glenn Maxwell also won the T20 international award, another player constantly in discussions for a test call-up.