Nathan Lyon has become the first specialist finger spinner to win the Test Player of the Year award at the Australian Cricket Awards on Monday (February 11) with seam bowling allrounder Marcus Stoinis emerging as the ODI player of the Year. In the shortest format, Glenn Maxwell took the T20I award with Matthew Wade bagging the Domestic Player of the Year award. Among the women, Alyssa Healy won the ODI and T20I Player of the Year before adding the Melinda Clark Award to complete a hat-trick. Pat Cummins won the coveted Allan Border Medal. The voting is done for the period of January 7, 2018 till January 9, 2019 with members of the media, umpires and Australian players putting in their choices.
More than seven years after Cummins introduced himself as one of the most exciting finds in Australia cricket, only to succumb to a series of long-term injuries, he inscribed his name into the honour roll of Australian Cricket in Melbourne. After earning player of the match on his debut Test against South Africa, he suffered injury issues with stress fractures.
On Monday, he stood before his peers and former greats to receive Australia men’s cricket’s most prestigious inpidual award from the former Test captain whose name adorns it. In doing so, he joined a prestigious club of former Border Medal winners: Steve Waugh, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Steve Smith and David Warner. Cummins is the first bowler to have earned the honour since Mitchell Johnson was crowned in 2014.
At 25 years and 279 days, he is also the youngest Border Medallist since Smith won the first of his two awards in 2015 when aged 25 years and 239 days.
Lyon polled a combined total of 25 votes from the jury ahead of fast bowler Pat Cummins, batsman Usman Khawaja, wicketkeeper batsman Tim Paine and batsman Mitchell Marsh to win the Test Player of the Year. Lyon emerged three votes clear of Cummins with Khawaja (17), Paine (nine) and Mitchell Marsh (eight) making up the top five during the ceremony in Melbourne.
Lyon becomes just the second specialist bowler to be crowned best men’s Test player in the past decade, with Mitchell Starc having taken the honour in 2017. Ever since Brett Lee won in 2008, the award has been dominated by batsmen with Michael Clarke winning it four times, Steve Smith (twice) and Simon Katich, Shane Watson and David Warner once each.
During a difficult year in ODIs where Australia won just two of 13 matches during the voting period, Stoinis was the only consistent performer. He played 13 matches and polled 30 votes to win ahead of Aaron Finch (22 votes), Shaun Marsh 18, Travis Head (14) and bowlers Billy Stanlake and Andrew Tye who each earned nine votes.
It is the first honour for Stoinis at the Australian Cricket Awards and he becomes the first seam-bowling allrounder to win the ODI prize since Shane Watson’s hat-trick in 2010-2012.
Stoinis was the third highest run-scorer with 376 runs, with four fifties and a top score of 87. His average was 28.92 in a middle-order role but well below his career batting average of 42.47. With the ball, he took 13 wickets from as many matches, at an average of 36.77 with a best return of 3/16.
In the shortest format of the game, Glenn Maxwell won his second T20 International Player of the Year Award. Maxwell, who previously won the award in 2015, becomes the third multiple winner of the men’s T20 player after Watson (2012, 2013 and 2017) and Finch (2014, 2018).
Maxwell garnered 33 votes to narrowly edge D’Arcy Short (30 votes) and AJ Tye (29 votes). Also appearing in the top five were Finch (19) and Billy Stanlake (18).
Maxwell played all 19 T20 games for Australia during the period, scoring 506 runs at 36.14 with a strike rate of 143.75. The run tally is third behind Finch’s 531 that was bolstered by his record-breaking 172 against Zimbabwe, and Short’s 515.
In the bowling charts, Maxwell was also Australia’s joint third-most prolific wicket-taker in the format with nine scalps despite being used for just 17 overs and conceding 7.59 runs per over.
- cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) 11 February 2019
Among the women, Healy took home three honours on the night for her exploits with the bat in ODIs and T20Is. The inaugural women’s ODI and women’s T20I player of the year went to Healy which rewards her breakthrough year that saw the Australians play just six ODIs amid a glut of 20-over cricket. Healy struck 329 runs at 54.83 to cement her place at the top of the one-day order. She picked up 13 votes, to finish ahead of opener Nicole Bolton (12) and allrounder Ashleigh Gardner (9).
Healy getting the T20I award seemed inevitable. Named player of the tournament at the T20 World Cup (where Australia won their fourth crown) and then the ICC T20I Player of the Year, her stepping up for this award came as no surprise. In 16 innings Healy hit 578 runs at 41.29-striking at a rate of 145.96-including six half-centuries. She then also accepted the Belinda Clark Award for her remarkable year.
Australian Cricket Awards 2019: All the winners
Women’s ODI Player of the Year: Alyssa Healy
Women’s T20I Player of the Year: Alyssa Healy
Women’s Domestic Player of the Year: Heather Graham
Belinda Clark Award: Alyssa Healy
Best Young Female Cricketer: Georgia Wareham
Allan Border Medal: Pat Cummins
Men’s ODI Player of the Year: Marcus Stoinis
Men’s T20I Player of the Year: Glenn Maxwell
Test Player of the Year: Nathan Lyon
Best Young Male Cricketer: Will Pucovski
Domestic Player of the Year: Matthew Wade
Community Champion: Moises Henriques for work in raising awareness for mental health issues
Hi Peter… just woke up to this amazing news in Dubai. My family and I are deeply honoured to be part of a incredible and distinguished group of talented people. Sorry I can't be there due to my coaching duties with @IsbUnited https://t.co/GEpb9xIHqq
- Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) 11 February 2019
Inductees into Australian Cricket Hall of Fame: Dean Jones, Billy Murdoch and Cathryn Fitzpatrick