|Clarke celebrates scoring 300 during second Test against India at home ground Sydney [AFP]|
Captain Michael Clarke claimed his third Allan Border Medal as Australia’s cricketer of the year after also winning Test player honours and just missing out on the one-day international award on Monday.
Clarke’s award as the country’s top cricketer places him second on the all-time list, trailing only former captain Ricky Ponting, who has claimed the honour four times in its 13-year history.
The 30-year-old Clarke earned 231 votes from players, media and umpires, with Mike Hussey second on 174 and Shane Watson third with 166.
Allrounder Watson, who missed three months with calf and hamstring injuries, won both the one-day international and Twenty20 player of the year awards.
Watson and Clarke had 19 points each in the limited-overs category, but Watson won because he had more first-place votes.
Clarke claimed the Test player award in a countback from Ponting – Clarke and his predecessor as captain both polled nine votes each but the current skipper was awarded the title because he had more first-place votes.
Both averaged more than 100 in the four-Test series sweep against India in Australia in December-January, sharing partnerships of 288 in Sydney and 386 in Adelaide.
Clarke’s Test season included five centuries, highlighted by his unbeaten and career-best 329 in the Sydney Test in January against India.
“No doubt it is very special,” Clarke said on Monday.
“It was fantastic to score my highest score on my home ground in front of my family and friends.”
“It was fantastic to score my highest score on my home ground in front of my family and friends”
Test opener David Warner won the Bradman young cricketer of the year award. The former Twenty20 specialist scored a century in his second Test against New Zealand in Hobart in December and another 100 off 69 balls against India in Perth in January.
Warner, 25, qualified for the award because he was 24 or under at the start of the voting period in February of last year and had not played more than 10 first-class matches.
Former Australia legspinner Shane Warne was officially inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame during the awards ceremony.
Hall of Fame chairman David Crow earlier said Warne was the selection committee’s unanimous choice. The first cricketer to take 700 Test wickets, Warne was named as one of only five Wisden cricketers of the century in 2000.
Crow said Warne “revived legspin, combining accuracy with variety and enormous turn… it was the timing of his performances, in addition to his sheer weight of wickets, that further underlined his legendary status.”
Warne retired from Test cricket in 2007 after taking 708 wickets from 145 matches.