Lanning, White claim domestic crowns

Meg Lanning received the Women's Domestic Cricketer of the Year award Getty Images

Meg Lanning's anointing as Australia's finest women's cricketer of the year was an achievement because it was so expected. Cameron White's return to the dais as domestic men's player of the year, after also doing the trick in 2014, was equally laudable because it was not.

As captain of Australia, the Melbourne Stars and also Victoria, Lanning has dealt with the weight of expectation for quite a few years now. A sweep of the Belinda Clark award as the most accomplished player in the Southern Stars, plus the inaugural women's domestic prize, showed exactly how well she had dealt with it over the course of 2016.

Three Clark Medals meant Lanning is now only one short of the overall record for multiple garlands - four apiece shared by Shelley Nitschke and Karen Rolton. Lanning's 51 votes pushed her ahead of last year's winner Ellyse Perry (43 votes) and Jess Jonassen (33).

For White, the sensation was more of proving pundits, critics, coaches and selectors wrong. He spent much of last summer out of Victoria's first XI, only recalled towards the end of the Sheffield Shield season. However a match-saving century against New South Wales in Alice Springs played a major part in allowing Victoria to sneak into and ultimately win the Shield final, over South Australia.

White followed up with 378 runs and another century during the first half of the Shield competition this time around, as a different Victoria regime helmed by Andrew McDonald saw fit to include him in the side more consistently. In addition he put on a domineering display in the Matador Cup to start the season, while also performing creditably for the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League.

He polled 47.5% of the vote for the award, well ahead of the next-best Travis Head, on 17.65%. That differential also sent a pointed message from the nation's players to the selectors, coaches and planners at Cricket Australia - performance, not potential, remains their primary measure of a peer's quality, something White has in spades.

Lanning's carrying off the Clark Medal for the third time was highlighted by an exceptionally-strong ODI year, featuring an innings of 134 to sink South Africa in Canberra in November. In addition to being a match-winner, the century gave Lanning nine ODI hundreds, the most by an Australian surpassing Rolton and equalling Charlotte Edwards with the most for any nation.

In four matches of the Women's National Cricket League, Lanning also piled up 359 runs and two centuries, including one worth 190 - bettering her own record for the highest score in any WNCL match. While Lanning was unable to get as far as three figures in her Women's Big Bash League matches during the voting period, a top-score of 97 not out stood tall among five half centuries and another 502 runs. In all it earned her precisely 50% of the vote, leaving all others trailing in her wake.

Other award winners included the allrounder Hilton Cartwright, who claimed the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year prize well ahead of South Australia's fluent left-hander Jake Weatherald and the recent Test debutant Matt Renshaw. Cartwright's award will be some consolation after he had the strange experience of making his Test debut in Sydney and then was left out altogether from the tour squad for India.

The first award of the Betty Wilson Female Young Cricketer of the Year prize - Wilson was also inducted to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame on the night - went to Lanning's fellow Victorian, Sophie Molineux.