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Steven Smith bags Allan Border Medal

By EMN Updated: Jan 27, 2015 9:53 pm

Sydney, January 27

Australia’s stand-in Test captain Steven Smith was, on Tuesday, awarded the Allan Border Medal for the rich vein of form he has been in 2014-15. Smith, 25, became the second youngest player to bag the medal after Michael Clarke, who received the honour as a 23-year-old in 2005. Smith was also named Australia’s ODI and Test player of the year.
The Allan Border Medal is decided by cumulative votes cast by fellow players, umpires and media representatives. Smith received 243 votes to win by a big margin. David Warner (175), previous medallist Mitchell Johnson (126), Aaron Finch (111) and Glenn Maxwell (96) were the other contenders for the prestigious medal.During the voting period (January 24, 2014 to January 10, 2015), Smith amassed 1212 runs in 9 Tests at an average of 86.57. He also scored five hundreds and five fifties. Four of his hundreds came in the Test series against India, in which he aggregated 729 runs to surpass the record of Sir Donald Bradman for most runs in a series against India by an Australian. In the 12 ODIs that Smith played in 2014, he scored 541 runs at an average of 49.18. He managed two centuries and three fifties.
Delighted after receiving the medal, Smith said: “I’ve just really enjoyed the last 12 to 18 months. And seeing some of those highlights, particularly the South Africa win and to beat the number one Test team in the world in their own backyard was amazing.”
Smith attributed his success to staying calm under pressure and not trying anything different. “I think the main thing would probably have to be my patience that I’ve shown throughout the summer. I think I’ve been able to withstand pressure and know that things get easier and I think, when they’ve got easier, I’ve cashed in.”
Shane Watson, who won the award in 2010 and 2011, said the way Smith was batting reminded him of Ricky Ponting at his best. “It really has been a privilege to be able to see the way he’s been batting and playing, and also holding himself. I’ve been very lucky in my career to be able to play with some of the great players that have played for Australia. To see Steve Smith and what he’s doing in this point in time is very much along the lines of what Ricky Ponting was doing when he was dominating.”
Glenn Maxwell (T20I Player of the Year), Sean Abbott (Young Cricketer of the Year), Meg Lanning (Belinda Clark Medal) and Jason Behrendorff (State Player of the Year) were the other award winners. Former wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist and former allrounder & administrator, Jack Ryder were inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

By EMN Updated: Jan 27, 2015 9:53:19 pm