Gardner, Marsh clinch top honours at 2024 Australian Cricket Awards

January 31, 2024
Off-spin all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner and fast-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh have clinched the top honours at the 2024

Melbourne, Jan 31 (IANS) Off-spin all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner and fast-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh have clinched the top honours at the 2024 Australian Cricket Awards by winning the prestigious Belinda Clark Award and Allan Border Medal respectively.

At a ceremony in Melbourne to celebrate a remarkable year of achievement for Australian cricket, Ashleigh added a second Belinda Clark Award to the honour she first won in 2022 while Marsh won his first Allan Border Medal.

In the Belinda Clark Award, Gardner polled 147 votes ahead of runner-up Ellyse Perry (134) with Annabel Sutherland (106) in third place. In the Allan Border Medal, Marsh polled 223 votes with Pat Cummins (144 votes) and Steve Smith (141 votes) in second and third place.

Ashleigh was again outstanding in all formats throughout a season in which the Australian Women continued their dominance on the international stage winning the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, retaining the Women’s Ashes and winning ODI and T20I series in India. Across all formats, she scored 499 runs at 24.94 with a top score of 65 and took 56 wickets at 19.39 with best figures of 8-66.

A member of both the ICC ODI and T20I Teams of the Year, Ashleigh was also outstanding in the Australian Women’s two Test matches. Her remarkable 12-wicket haul against England at Trent Bridge, including match-winning figures of 8-66 in the second innings, was one of the highlights of the cricket year.

Ashleigh’s significant off-field contribution was also acknowledged through the Community Impact Award. Gardner established the Ashleigh Gardner Foundation (AGF) in 2021 intending to create a healthy start to the school day for Indigenous children believing providing breakfast and unstructured play enhances educational outcomes.

On the other hand, Marsh’s first Allan Border Medal capped a wonderful year in which the experienced West Australian’s attacking batting was again a feature of the Australian Men’s successful short-form campaigns and saw him recapture a place in the heart of the Test batting order.

He is the first allrounder to clinch the award in more than a decade, after Shane Watson did so in 2011. Across all formats, Marsh scored 1638 runs at an average of 58.5 with a top score of 177* at a remarkable strike rate of 96 as the Australian Men won its first World Test Championship title, retained the Ashes in England and won a sixth ICC Men’s ODI World Cup trophy in India.

Marsh also won the Men’s ODI Player of the Year Award after a year of stellar performances by members of the World Cup-winning Men’s ODI team. He scored 858 runs at 47.67 at a strike rate of 113.94 with a memorable top score of 177 not out against Bangladesh in the ODI World Cup game in Pune.

Ellyse Perry’s enormous contribution to her team’s success was rewarded with both the Women’s ODI Player of the Year and T20I Player of the Year awards. In ODIs Perry scored 466 runs at 66.57 with a top score of 91. In T20Is she scored 390 runs at 43.33 with a top score of 70 and took six wickets at 9.5 with best figures of 2-3.

Nathan Lyon won the Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year Award in the same year in which he joined Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath as the only Australian bowlers to take 500 Test wickets. Off-spinner Lyon took 49 Test wickets at 23.73 with a best return of 8-64 in the victory over India at Indore and scored 131 runs at 10.8.

Jason Behrendorff took out the Men’s T20 International Player of the Year after his successful return to the Australian Men’s Team on the tours of South Africa and India. Left-arm fast-bowler Behrendorff took eight wickets at 16.5 with a miserly economy rate of 6.6 runs per-over, including a match-winning spell of 1-12 from his four overs in India’s total of 223-3 in the third T20I in Guwahati.

Australia’s top domestic cricketers were also acknowledged with West Australia’s Cameron Bancroft taking out the Men’s and Sophie Day and Elyse Villani sharing the Women’s Domestic Player of the Year Awards, which includes matches in all formats.

Opener Emma de Broughe won the Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year, while fast-bowler Fergus O’Neill took the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award. Adelaide Strikers’ batter Matthew Short won the BBL season 12 Player of the Tournament for a second consecutive season.

Short finished an incredible regular season as the competition’s leading run-scorer with 509 at 72.71 at a strike rate of 153.78 with six fifties and took six wickets. Sri Lanka skipper Chamari Athapaththu of the Sydney Thunder won the WBBL season 9 Player of the Tournament honour.

In her fifth season in the WBBL and first with the Thunder, Athapaththu made 511 runs at an average of 42.58 – second on the regular season run-scoring list – and took nine wickets with her off-spin bowling at an economy rate of 6.79.

Taj Bower from Perth was named Woolworths Cricket Blaster of the Year which celebrates the spirt of the game, teamwork and the joy of playing in Australian Cricket’s entry-level programme. Taj was nominated for the amazing encouragement he showed his teammates and his passion for the game.



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