New South Wales players have swept the Allan Border Medal awards ceremony with Australian captain Steve Smith and Australian all-rounder Elyse Perry each taking out Australian cricket’s highest individual honours.
The imperious form of Smith over the last 12 months was duly rewarded as he claimed the prestigious Allan Border Medal for the second time in Melbourne on Monday night. He was also named as Test Player of the Year.
Perry was presented with the equally significant Belinda Clark Award which was also the second time she had received the honour.
The other NSW winners included Australian and NSW Blues’ opening batsman David Warner, who was named One Day International Player of the Year for the second season in succession.
Legendary batsman for Australia and NSW, Norm O’Neill, was also officially inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame alongside modern-day greats, Ricky Ponting and Karen Rolton.
“It feels I guess nice to be recognised for my performances over the last year,” Smith said.
“As I said last night, I don’t play the game for sort of personal accolades and I play the game to help my team to win games of cricket and series, and … obviously winning the Ashes 4-0 was huge for Australian cricket and nice to be able to perform and contribute throughout that time.”
Perry agreed with those sentiments.
“Certainly, on a personal level, really really pleased and I think these kind of things, while it’s not the reason you play, it’s always really nice to be recognised as well,” Perry said.
“But I think in general, last night was just a really fantastic opportunity to celebrate what’s been such a wonderful summer for Australian Cricket, and I suppose in particular women’s cricket, and the way it’s been received has been absolutely wonderful and a huge privilege to be a part of it.”
“Every year there is new ground being broken at the moment, and it’s a really exciting time to be a part of it, and certainly North Sydney (Day/Night Women’s Test) and the entire Ashes tour was a huge step for our sport and our team.”
Both Smith and Perry joined an elite group of cricketers to claim the Allan Border Medal and Belinda Clark Award on multiple occasions.
Current and former NSW Blues David Warner and Shane Watson have both taken home the medal twice, while Ponting and fellow former Australian captain and proud New South Welshman, Michael Clarke, have both won the award four times.
Perry became the fifth multiple winner of the Belinda Clark award and joined former Australian and Lendlease Breakers’ all-rounder Lisa Sthaleker as a two-time winner.
The amazingly talented Sydney Sixers’ and Breakers’ all-rounder follows in the footsteps of Rolton, and fellow Australian and South Australian Shelley Nitschke, who both claimed the crown four times. Current Australian player Meg Lanning has also won the award on three occasions.
Smith was a clear winner of the Allan Border Medal on 246 votes. Australian and Blues’ team mates, David Warner and Nathan Lyon, received 162 and 156 votes respectively to finish in second and third place.
Perry comfortably took out the Belinda Clark Award with 116 votes, 38 votes ahead of Queensland opening batter Beth Mooney.