David Warner wins Allan Border Medal
David Warner has capped off a year in which he was named Australia's vice-captain by winning the Allan Border Medal for the first time. Warner also won the Test Player of the Year title at the award ceremony in Melbourne, and finished clear of captain Steven Smith and fast bowler Mitchell Starc in the Allan Border Medal count. Glenn Maxwell was named ODI Player of the Year.
Smith had won the Allan Border Medal last year and scored more runs than Warner across all international formats during the voting period, but Warner finished with 240 votes to Smith's 219, with Starc in third place on 183. Warner was Player of the Series for the home wins against New Zealand this summer having scored twin hundreds at the Gabba and 253 at the WACA; he finished the series with the remarkable return of 592 runs at 98.66 from three Tests.
Warner finished the voting period with 1334 Test runs at 60.63, behind only Joe Root and Alastair Cook in Test cricket in that time. In the count for the Test Player of the Year Award, Warner finished on 30 votes, clear of Smith on 24 and Starc on 18, with batsman Adam Voges finishing fourth on 16 in a year that saw him become Test cricket's oldest man to score a hundred on debut.
In his acceptance speech, Warner paid an emotional tribute to his wife Candice, a professional ironwoman and mother of his two daughters, who he said had played a significant role in helping him turn the corner after a disappointing 2013 in which he was suspended over his altercation with Joe Root in a pub in England. He also said he had expected Smith to win his second Allan Border Medal.
"My heart is racing, I honestly thought Smudge had a terrific year and he would have taken this out," Warner said. "People said to me I can be one of the greats of the game but you just sit there and let that go through both of your ears. You can only control what you control and for me that's being the best person I can be on and off the field."
Warner's progression from T20 cricketer - he made his international debut in the format before playing first-class cricket - to vice-captain and now Test Cricketer of the Year and Allan Border Medallist suggests a maturing of him both on and off field. He said he was proud of the way he shrugged off the initial perceptions that he was just a T20 slogger.
"That means a lot to me," Warner said. "I look back and looking through the Twenty20 cricket that I came through, to put myself into the New South Wales Shield team and then giving myself the opportunity to put my hand up for selection for an Australian baggy green.
"Something that I really will cherish for the rest of my life, getting that baggy green presented to me by Slats [Michael Slater], similar way we played, aggressive, try to take it to the bowlers, it's something I'm really grateful for."
Starc might have considered himself unlucky not to take home any silverware during the evening, given that he was Player of the Tournament in Australia's World Cup triumph last year and during the tri-series that preceded it. He ended up on 25 votes in the ODI Player of the Year Award, three votes behind the winner Maxwell on 28, while Mitchell Marsh finished third on 23.
Maxwell scored 644 ODI runs at 46.00 during the voting period, third on Australia's run tally behind Smith and Warner, but his cause was helped by his presence as the lead spinner for much of the year in the 50-over format. He was Australia's third-leading wicket taker during the voting period with 19 at 29.52, behind Starc on 41 wickets and Pat Cummins on 21. No T20 award was presented this year as Australia played only one game during the voting period.
The Belinda Clark Award, for Australia's best women's cricketer across the international formats, went to Ellyse Perry for the first time, having been won by Meg Lanning for the past two years. However, there could hardly have been any other winner this year given that Perry was Australia's leading run scorer and wicket taker during the voting period.
South Australia batsman Alex Ross was named the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, having scored 416 Sheffield Shield runs at 32.00 in the Sheffield Shield and 237 at 59.25 in the Matador Cup during the voting period. He finished with 31% of the vote from fellow players, ahead of Victoria opener Travis Dean on 24% and Western Australia fast bowler Joel Paris on 21%.
Voges was the Domestic Player of the Year for the first time, collecting 32% of the player vote, narrowly ahead of his Western Australia team-mate Michael Klinger on 30%, while South Australia batsman Callum Ferguson finished third on 12%. Voges made 1232 runs at 64.84 across all three domestic formats during the voting period, compared to Klinger's 1568 at 52.27.
Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @brydoncoverdale