Michael Bevan, who was regarded as the world’s best limited-overs batter during his decade-long reign in the Australian team, said he’s “honoured” to have a Cricket NSW Award named after him.
The inaugural Michael Bevan One-Day Cup Player of the Year medal will be presented at this Thursday's CNSW Awards Night to the player voted by his peers as the best performed member of the 2021-22 Blues one-day team.
It’s a fitting tribute for the Canberra-born Bevan, who’ll present the medal at this year’s milestone 20th annual awards night at The Star in Pyrmont.
Bevan played 232 one-day matches for Australia between 1994-2004, and he scored 6912 runs at an average of 53.58. His ability to engineer calm chases that often ended in a tense last over, or even final ball, heroics made him a crowd favourite.
The left-hander was as influential for NSW in Australia’s domestic one-day competition. Between 1990-2003, Bevan scored 2400 limited overs runs in that arena at an average of 61.53. He scored one century – an unbeaten 135 - and 21 half centuries.
“It’s a bit of a buzz, and obviously strong recognition of a snapshot of my career,” said Bevan of the medal. “I’m very happy Cricket NSW has given me this honour.
“When I played for NSW, I always strived to do my best and to achieve goals. If this medal can play some sort of role in helping a young cricketer’s aspirations, then that’s great.”
Bevan, who’ll be forever linked to his guiding Australia to against the odds 50-over victories against the West Indies at the SCG in 1996, and New Zealand at the MCG in 2002, said one of his aims as a one-day player was to guide his team to a strong finish.
“My overall goal when batting at No.6 was to steer the team home, particularly when chasing [a total],” he said. “And I did that in the way that gave myself the best possible chance.
“An important part of that was minimising risk and choosing the right game plans.”
Cricket NSW chief executive officer Lee Germon said the medal was a worthy honour for Bevan, a player who he described as a great cricketer whose feats would help to inspire future generations of players.
“CNSW is proud to be able to present the Michael Bevan Medal to the state’s Marsh One-Day Cup player of the year,” said Germon.
“Michael is deservedly remembered as a wholehearted team player.
“He was someone who knew how to bring the best out of his teammates in pressure situations – such as that memorable night in 1996 when he teamed up with No.11 batter Glenn McGrath to guide the Aussies home against the West Indies.
“Michael was the consummate professional who established a reputation for being at ‘home’ in situations on the cricket field that would’ve tested the nerve of any cricketer – chasing high targets with only tailenders as his support.
“His immense faith in his ability, which I understand was forged by hours in the nets, meant he usually passed these challenges with flying colours.
“His success on the field for Australia and NSW, allied with his ambassador-like qualities off the pitch, deserves recognition in the form of a medal that acknowledges excellence.”