SYDNEY: Australia cricket captain Steve Smith capped off a golden 12 months by winning his second Allan Border Medal in Melbourne on Monday.
Smith, hailed as the country’s finest batsman since Donald Bradman, polled 246 votes, well ahead of two-time medal winner David Warner (162 votes) and Nathan Lyon (156 votes).
Smith, who had earlier been named Australia’s Test Player of the Year for his dominant 12 months with the bat, won his first Border Medal in 2015.
The skipper was the hot favourite to take the award following a year in which he played 24 international games across limited overs and Test cricket and scored 1754 runs at 67.46 with seven centuries.
He captained a hard-fought series loss in India, a drawn series in Bangladesh and a triumphant 4-0 Ashes victory over England at home in which he was also named man of the series.
Smith, 28, is also the reigning ICC Test Cricketer of the Year after earning that accolade last month.
He joins Ricky Ponting (2004, 2006-07, 2009), Michael Clarke (2005, 2009, 2012-13), Shane Watson (2010-11) and David Warner (2016-17) as multiple winners of the annual award.
Allrounder Ellyse Perry won the Belinda Clark Award for a second time, confirming her as Australia’s best female cricketer over the past 12 months.
Perry, who previously won the award in 2016, capped off a 12-month period that also saw her named the ICC’s Cricketer of the Year.
The crowning moment of Perry’s year was her memorable double-century in the historic day-night Ashes Test against England in Sydney.
Her unbeaten 213 was part of a year that saw her score 756 runs across all forms of the game to go with 20 wickets at an average of 32.—AFP