Marsh, Gardner claim Australian cricket’s top gongs

Mitch Marsh has been presented his first Allan Border Medal, while Ashleigh Gardner took out the Belinda Clark Award at the 2024 Australian Cricket Awards in Melbourne.

Marsh has had a renaissance in the international arena, averaging 67.50 in tests across 2023, a starring role in the ODI World Cup with two centuries, and eight white-ball matches as captain.

He attracted 223 votes, well ahead of runners-up Pat Cummins (144) and Steve Smith (141).

Marsh had the perfect return to test cricket at Headingley with an innings of 118. But in accepting the award, he spoke of how he doubted a return to test cricket at all.

“I thought I was done and dusted,” he said.

“I often spoke to my wife about how I wanted to get one more crack at it, and it’s been amazing.”

Marsh was also rewarded for his World Cup heroics with the Men’s ODI Player of the Year award.

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Shortly after, Gardner took out the highest honour in Australian women’s cricket for a second time.

She took 56 wickets in the voting period at an average of 19.39 in a year where her ability as a off-spinner shone through. Earlier in the year, she was named Player of the Tournament in Australia’s successful T20 World Cup campaign.

Her standout performance of the year came at Trent Bridge against England when she pushed Australia to a test match victory with a career-best 8/66 in the fourth innings, taking 12 for the match.

The Belinda Clark Award results were much closer than its male equivalent, with Gardner (147) only 13 votes ahead of second placed Ellyse Perry (134). Perry instead took home both the ODI and T20I Player of the Year awards.

“I guess over the last 12-24 months my bowling has evolved a lot quicker than what I was thinking,” Gardner said.

“I put in a lot of hard work and built a lot of trust in my captain to bring me on at different times throughout the game, and being able to reap those rewards of taking wickets at different points has been a nice change in my game.”

She also took out the Community Impact Award for her work in establishing the Ashleigh Gardner Foundation, which has the goal of increasing the number of Aboriginal kids finishing school through providing breakfast.

Matt Short was named the BBL Player of the Tournament for the second straight year. The Strikers skipper averaged just over 60 across the season with a strike rate of 153.26. He scored more than 70 runs on four occasions, a first in the BBL.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity the Strikers gave me at the top of the order a few years ago and the captaincy this season,” he said.

“It suits my game pretty well at top of order and it’s really nice to bat at Adelaide Oval for half the games.”

Nathan Lyon was awarded the Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year. The off-spinner was Australia’s leading wicket taker despite missing three tests in England with a calf injury.

Cameron Bancroft, having just missed out on selection in the Test squad following the retirement of David Warner, has been named the Men’s Domestic Player of the Year in light of his recent Sheffield Shield form. Meanwhile, the Women’s Domestic Player of the Year prize has been split between Sophie Day and Elyse Villani.

All award winners

Allan Border Medal: Mitchell Marsh
Belinda Clark Award: Ashleigh Gardner
Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year: Nathan Lyon
Men’s ODI Player of the Year: Mitch Marsh
Women’s ODI Player of the Year: Ellyse Perry
Men’s T20I Player of the Year: Jason Behrendorff
Women’s T20I Player of the Year: Ellyse Perry
BBL|13 Player of the Tournament: Matt Short
WBBL|09 Player of the Tournament: Chamari Athapaththu
Men’s Domestic Player of the Year: Cameron Bancroft
Women’s Domestic Player of the Year: Sophie Day & Ellyse Villani
Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year: Emma de Broughe
Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year: Fergus O’Neill
Community Impact Award: The Ashleigh Gardner Foundation

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