An emotional David Warner on Monday won the Australian cricketer of the year award beating teammate Steve Smith by one vote in their first season following the ball-tampering ban that brought their rollicking careers to a one-year halt.
Dashing opener Warner won his third Allan Border Medal with 194 votes, with former Test captain Smith getting 193 votes and fast bowler Pat Cummins coming third with 185.
Ellyse Perry claimed her second Belinda Clark Award at the Australian Cricket Awards here.
Then vice-captain and captain — Warner and Smith — were each suspended for a year by Cricket Australia and opener Cameron Bancroft was banned for nine months for their involvement in the ball tampering scandal during a Test match in Cape Town in March 2018.
Considering his stunning return to the game following a year’s suspension, an emotional Warner held back tears during his acceptance speech.
“I couldn’t be any prouder to stand here and receive the award … (and) to see the rest of the other guys doing so well,” Warner said, according to Cricket Australia.
“I really had a hunger and determination to come back and really put my foot forward … so to have a summer like that really put a smile on my face.”
Warner had previously won the coveted individual prize in 2016 and 2017. He polled a total of 194 across the Test, ODI and T20I formats to finish ahead of former captain Smith and nine votes clear of Cummins.
Warner now joined a select list of multiple winners of the Allan Border Medal, which includes Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Smith.
Meanwhile, Perry won the Belinda Clark Award after her teammate Alyssa Healy bagged both the T20 and ODI Player of the Year awards for women’s cricketers.
Australia’s limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch claimed the male ODI Player of the Year award, while Marnis Labuschagne won the male Test Player of the Year recognition.
Warner also claimed the male International Twenty20 Player of the Year Award.