The South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) has congratulated West End Redbacks batsman Chris Davies on last night (February 6) being named the 2003 Tanya Denver Award winner at the annual The Advertiser-Channel 7 Sports Star of the Year Awards.

The Tanya Denver Award, named after The Advertiser's late deputy sports editor, is given to the athlete who best demonstrates outstanding sportmanship and endeavour.

Chris follows in the footsteps of fellow Redbacks player Jason Gillespie who was the 2002 Tanya Denver Award recipient.

As a first-class cricketer since 1997-98, Chris not only has had the enormous challenges facing any elite sportsman, but has had to battle the incurable disease cystic fibrosis to make it to the top level.

Chris said he was honoured to receive the award and hopes being the 2003 recipient will help inspire his fellow cystic fibrosis sufferers.

"Winning the Tanya Denver Award is truly an honour. I hope that by me winning this award, young kids who also suffer from cystic fibrosis might just realise it still is possible to achieve your dreams - whether in sport or other facets of life," he said.

SACA chief executive Mike Deare said that Chris is an inspiration to anyone in demonstrating how to overcome adversity to achieve success.

"Chris is not only an outstanding cricketer, but he is a natural leader and through his hard work and determination has managed to succeed at the highest level of cricket for his State, despite battling a debilitating disease."

"Everyone at the SACA is exceedingly proud of Chris' achievements, not only on the field but also his achievements throughout his life. And, he is no doubt an inspiration to young people who also may have similar struggles in life," he said.

Redbacks captain Darren Lehmann was a finalist in the Sports Star of the Year category, which was won by Lleyton Hewitt.