Smith wins Steve Waugh Medal
Steve Smith, the sometime Australia allrounder, has won his second Steve Waugh Medal as the most outstanding player for New South Wales during the 2011-12 season. In a wretched summer for the Blues, Smith's overall contribution outstripped an sterling Sheffield Shield season by the wicketkeeper Peter Nevill to claim the award, which he also won in 2010.
Over the voting period, expanded to include last year's Twenty20 Champions League, Smith made consistent contributions with the bat, though his legspin bowling struggled to make an impression as he slipped further from contention for a place in the national team. Like numerous NSW team-mates, Smith is expected to lose his Cricket Australia contract when the list is redrawn this year.
In the Champions League, Smith made 103 runs at 34.33, his best contribution arriving in a critical win over the Mumbai Indians. Smith was a solid contributor in the Sheffield Shield, notching 492 runs at 41.00, second only to Nevill among the Blues' run scorers. He was also useful in the domestic limited overs competition, making 189 runs in the five matches he played. Though not the competition is not included in the Waugh medal voting, Smith led the Sydney Sixers to victory in the Twenty20 Big Bash League.
Nevill, absent from the awards ceremony at Doltone House in Sydney due to Australia duty, was rewarded for a break-out summer with the award for best Sheffield Shield player. Nevill's 570 runs at 51.81 were an excellent harvest for a wicketkeeper in a struggling team, and he also claimed 22 catches. The lack of other serious contenders reflected the Blues' season, in which they missed both domestic finals and won only one Shield match out of 10.
Mitchell Starc claimed the domestic limited overs award, having scooped 15 wickets at 17.73 in a mere five matches, as he played a fringe role with the Australian team across the summer. Moises Henriques was named the most outstanding contributor to the Sixers' T20 success, while Chirs Gayle won the equivalent award for the Sydney Thunder.
The Belinda Clark Medal for best women's cricketer was shared between Leah Poulton and Lisa Sthalekar. Poulton's award was her third, and second in as many seasons, while Sthalekar celebrated her fourth Clarke medal.
Three inductees were also welcomed into the NSW hall of fame. Fred Spofforth, the most feared fast bowler of Australian cricket's formative years, was inducted, as was that bold batsman and folk hero of the 1960s, 70s and 80s, Doug Walters. Denise Annetts, who played 10 Tests and 43 ODIs for the Australian women's team, was also inducted.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here