Allan Border Medal 2012-13 February 4, 2013

Hughes and Burns win awards


The batsman Phillip Hughes has capped off a strong 12 months in which he returned to the Test team by being named Australia's Domestic Player of the Year. Hughes was one of the winners at the Allan Border Medal ceremony in Melbourne, where the promising Queensland batsman Joe Burns was named the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year and Jess Cameron won the Belinda Clark Award as the best player in Australian women's cricket.

Hughes picked up 33.80% of the player votes for the Domestic Player award and narrowly beat the Tasmania fast bowler Jackson Bird, who collected 29.10% of the votes, while the retired Test batsman Ricky Ponting earned 17.60% of the votes. In the voting period, which ran from February 12 last year until January 19 this year, Hughes scored 1108 runs across all formats (Sheffield Shield, Ryobi Cup and Big Bash League) at an average of 55.40.

His figures included two centuries and eight fifties and it was those kind of scores that earned Hughes a recall to the Test side after Ponting's retirement in December. The success also more than justified his decision to move to South Australia from New South Wales after last season. Perhaps surprisingly given the mountains of domestic runs he has scored, this was the first time Hughes had earned the award.

In the past three seasons the Domestic Player of the Year award has gone to Rob Quiney, Usman Khawaja and Michael Klinger. Klinger scored more runs than Hughes during the voting period but at an inferior average - 1169 runs at 41.75 - while Ponting was sixth on the state run list with 1000 at 62.50.

Bird was unlucky to miss out after a remarkable debut season last year, which led to Australia A selection during 2012 and eventually a Test debut on Boxing Day against Sri Lanka. In the voting period, Bird picked up 67 wickets across all formats at an average of 19.63, including four five-wicket hauls. His Tasmania team-mate James Faulkner claimed 63 wickets, and they were streets ahead of the third-placed wicket taker Nathan Coulter-Nile on 44 victims.

Burns, 23, was a clear winner of the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year title with 41.90% of the votes given by players, ahead of the South Australia fast bowler Kane Richardson with 14.2% of the votes and the New South Wales fast man Pat Cummins, who earned 10.80% of the votes. The award is eligible to players who at the start of the voting period were aged 24 or under and had not played more than ten first-class games.

During the voting period, Burns played 24 matches across all formats and scored 1038 runs at an average of 35.79, including two Sheffield Shield centuries against South Australia. He also made his Australia A debut during the tour of England. A stylish batsman who will be in contention for higher honours in the coming years if he can build on the strong start to his career, Burns joins a long list of international players to have won the Young Cricketer honour.

All the men who have won the award since it was first given to Darren Lehmann in 1990 have played for Australia in at least one format and they range from big names such as Ricky Ponting, Brett Lee and Shane Watson, to those whose careers at the top were only brief, including Martin Love, Mark Cosgrove and Dan Cullen.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2013, 21:22 GMT

    Phil Hughes, Joe Burns and Jess Cameron all won awards but only Hughes and Burns made this article's headline. It would have been just a small effort to include Jess Cameron's name in the headline, but if that kind of thing is done more often, it is such a good way to lift the profile and esteem of women's cricket.

  • Christopher on February 5, 2013, 9:03 GMT

    Well done Hughesy! I believe he has a long way to go to match his form leading up to the '09 Ashes, but he has been my pick as the best batsman of this generation since his first Shield season and he's only 24. I expect India to be a huge test for him. It's been my belief since seeing Harris take his wicket in SA in '09 and watching him against SL in SL, that the spinners do trouble him. Ive seen him LBW to them on a number of occasions.Having said that, his sometimes unorthodox methods of hitting can take them to pieces quickly and he's fast on his feet.More importantly, he works to an attacking plan.As most batsmen do, there are periods when his innings is under way that he either decides to accelerate or loses concentration.For Hughesy, its usually in the 30's or the 80's. That's not a bad thing, but at his best, he is capable of hitting numerous hundreds on end.I cant think of anyone other than Clarke that can right now. As for Warne's Ferguson and Marsh, you really have to wonder.

  • Luke on February 5, 2013, 5:03 GMT

    Burns probably deserved to go to India ahead of Watson, considering Watson is a "specialist batssman" now. I think hee will score alot of runs in the next 10-15 years, looks good enough to play all three forms at the top level (once he gets his toes wet that is.)

  • Fazal on February 5, 2013, 0:25 GMT

    I saw you in action for the first time in the "Big Bash" and no doubt you look a future prospect for Australia. You are an agressive batsman like Dean Jones and I reckon you will be wearing the baggy green very soon. But make sure that you are in the good books of the selectors otherwise your name won't even be mentioned at all for selection to the aussie cricket team like Steven O'Keefe.Wish you all the best in your cricketing career.

  • David on February 4, 2013, 23:40 GMT

    @class9ryan, "the spinning giants of India await". Have you jumped into the Tardis and gone back a decade or two? The only spinning giants in India right now are the BCCI, with their constant spin on the DRS. Sure, India will prepare rank turners, but they don't have any great spinners at present. And the pitches might play into Australia's hands if they win the toss more than lose it, just as it did in Sri Lanka last time, where we won both the tests and ODI series.

  • Patrick on February 4, 2013, 20:20 GMT

    Well done Phil, now don't turn back! You & Starc can win us the ashes back not unlike how you & Mitch rattled SA at home a couple of years back.

  • Satish on February 4, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    Joey Burns looks like the Test middle order batter OZ are looking for hope he'll play in the Ashes!

  • $$ milind on February 4, 2013, 14:38 GMT

    Joe is amazing players ... Does have have a awkward grip on the bat but he knows 2 score runs and that is more important ... Happy for Jess Cameron as she is a real prospect to match up Belinda Clark... Hughes has been impressive in all the forms of game including T20s ... But the spinning giants wait him in India so he would have some problems .. but who knows he may a find of the India tour for the Aussies

  • John on February 4, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Congratulations to Burns, who looks as though he might be a good test prospect.

    I'm a bit bewildered by the fact that the qualification for the award is based on first-class appearances, yet Cummins got 3rd place when he didn't actually play a first-class game in the period. Obviously other formats are taken into account, but is a man who didn't play a first-class game REALLY the third-best young player in Australian cricket over the last 12 months? If so, the number of young cricketers who came into FC cricket in Australia in the last 2 years must be pretty small.

    Hughes looks as though he is starting to realize his potential. He's been around so long it's hard to realize that he would have qualified for the Young Cricketer award except that he's played too many games. This year will be a real test for him, hopefully he'll make a go of it. He's a great batsman to watch.

  • Andrew on February 4, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Good onya JB. That dismissal to Agar today though was poor. Head down mate!

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