New award for Ashes player of the series
The ECB and Cricket Australia have announced the Compton-Miller Medal will be awarded to the player of the series in the forthcoming Ashes. The new medal, named in honour of two of the greatest players of the post Second World War era, Denis Compton and Keith Miller, will be awarded in Ashes series from now on. It has been designed and manufactured by the Royal Mint.
Attending the launch of the medal at Lord's, on the eve of the first Test between England and Australia, was Marie Miller, the widow of Keith, and Denis's son Richard Compton, who flew in from his home in South Africa.
James Sutherland, the CEO of Cricket Australia, revealed that the idea of a Compton-Miller medal had developed after the memorial service for Keith Miller at Melbourne's St Paul's Cathedral. In a joint statement released by Lord's this afternoon, Sutherland said: "We wanted an appropriate way of remembering Keith and it was Marie who reminded us of Keith's great friendship with Denis Compton, his English alter-ego."
He added: "Keith, like Sir Donald Bradman, had the rare ability to capture the public imagination and the public's affection."
David Collier, the ECB chief executive, added: "Denis Compton had the post War status of a matinee idol - with a love for life and a love of living life to the full. It was an attitude that he shared with Keith Miller and they became not only great rivals, but great friends. And that is what is so special about sporting contests between England and Australia. After this summer is over, great rivalries will have been established but also great friendships will have been forged."
Both England and Australia captains Michael Vaughan and Ricky Ponting were present at the launch, as were the Cricket Australia chairman Bob Merriman and the ECB chairman David Morgan.