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A life-changing week for Steven Smith has ended with him winning the Steve Waugh Medal as New South Wales' player of the year. Smith will leave for New Zealand to join the Test squad on Monday and since his selection the 20-year-old has raised a century in the Sheffield Shield and taken a career-best 7 for 64 with his developing legspin.
Smith polled 362 votes throughout the three forms of the game this season and finished 159 ahead of Phillip Hughes, who will be with him on the plane to Wellington. Smith, who also collected the Sheffield Shield player of the year prize, scored 772 runs at 77.20 and backed it up with 21 wickets at 44.38. It was enough to impress the national selectors and he will push to become the side's No.6 batsman and second spinner during the two-Test tour.
"Steven's performances were outstanding and winning the Steve Waugh Medal is a just reward for his ability to score runs and take wickets in all forms of the game and at vital times," Dave Gilbert, the New South Wales Cricket chief executive, said. Smith also took home the FR Cup honour, finishing on 138 votes, 63 more than Josh Hazlewood, the young fast bowler. David Warner was handed the Twenty20 prize and Smith was the runner-up.
Alex Blackwell, Australia's captain, picked up the Belinda Clark Medal as the state's women's player of the year. Blackwell, the opener, scored 489 runs at 61.13, including two centuries, in the Women's National Cricket League and in the Twenty20 competition managed 191 at 47.75, with a strike-rate of 121.17. "Alex has also had an impressive summer and her form with the bat has been a tribute to both her talent and effort," Gilbert said.
Stan McCabe, who took on England during the Bodyline series, Mark Waugh and Lyn Larsen, Australia's captain between 1986 and 1993, were inducted into the Cricket NSW Hall of Fame. The Rising Star awards went to Nic Maddinson, the Australia Under-19 batsman, and Alyssa Healy, who performed strongly for New South Wales and was elevated to the national one-day team.