The South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) has congratulated fast-bowler Jason Gillespie on last night being named the 2002 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.

The SACA's chief executive, Mike Deare, accepted the award on behalf of Gillespie, who is in South Africa with the Australian World Cup squad.

Mr Deare said that Gillespie was an extremely worthy recipient of the award and the SACA was immensely proud of his achievements.

"Jason is an outstanding sportsman and he works hard on and off the field to promote the game of cricket."

"During his career, Jason has overcome an extraordinary number of injuries to remain at the highest level of his sport. After winning the ANZAC Award, being named one of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year, and overcoming further injuries, Jason had an outstanding 2002."

"He is a role model for anyone, particularly young and aspiring athletes, on how you can overcome adversity to achieve your goals," he said.

Gillespie and fellow World Cup squad member Darren Lehmann were among the 10 finalists in the Sports Star of the Year category.