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January 20, 2014
A little over a year ago, Jordan Silk was a substitute fielder for Australia in a Test match and yet to make his first-class debut for Tasmania. Now, he is the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, having been rewarded by his peers for an unfashionably patient approach to batting, and some spectacular tricks turned in the field.
Among the bevy of young players pushing for higher honours over the past 12 months, Silk has stood out for his determination at the batting crease, grinding out centuries when others have preferred a more hasty approach, encouraged in part by the avalanche of Twenty20 cricket and its attendant riches.
Following that sub appearance in the Hobart Test against Sri Lanka, Silk was brought into the Tasmanian Sheffield Shield side and quickly showed a level of application rare among batsmen of his age. Four hundreds during the voting period included a six-hour effort against Queensland in the Shield final at Bellerive Oval, its sheer obstinacy driving the Bulls' bowlers to distraction.
Silk was rewarded for that innings with an Australia A call-up during the winter, and maintained his first-class form at the start of this summer. He has since taken part in the Big Bash League for the Sydney Sixers, stunning the Gabba crowd with a rasping catch at mid on against the Brisbane Heat.
Another honour was awarded to Cameron White, who was named the Domestic Player of the Year. White's award arrived during a season in which he has enjoyed the freedom provided by Victoria's decision to bestow the state captaincy on Matthew Wade, showing rare consistency in both four-day and limited overs matches.
"Matt's doing a great job and I'm just enjoying the role and batting with a fair bit of freedom," White said during the domestic limited overs tournament in October. "As you can see the team's in a fairly good spot as well - everyone's enjoying their cricket including myself. When you're captain you probably do think about more things than just yourself, you can really concentrate on your own game when you're not captain, so I'm sure in many ways it's probably a good thing."
White's success arrived at the end of a period in which his career had trailed off badly from a time when he was a fixture in both Australia's ODI and T20 teams. He has been granted a recall to the T20 team for the forthcoming matches against England, and will hope that the domestic award will mark the start of a renewed career.
Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets hereFeeds: Daniel Brettig
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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