Warner wins Australia’s top individual award again

Prolific opening batsman David Warner has won Australian cricket’s top individual prize for the second year in a row, beating skipper Steve Smith and paceman Mitchell Starc for the Allan Border Medal.

While Warner becomes the fourth player to win back-to-back awards, Shane Watson (left), who retired after last year's T20 World Cup, bagged the T20 International award.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Prolific opening batsman David Warner has won Australian cricket’s top individual prize for the second year in a row, beating skipper Steve Smith and paceman Mitchell Starc for the Allan Border Medal.

Warner is the fourth player — following former skippers Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke and allrounder Shane Watson — to win back-to-back awards.

As Test vice-captain, Warner finished the season with centuries in consecutive tests against Pakistan in Melbourne and Sydney, where he became the first batsman to score 100 in the opening session of a test match in Australia.

The 30-year-old left-hander joined fellow Australians Victor Trumper (1902 in Manchester), Charlie Macartney (1926 in Leeds) and Donald Bradman (1930 in Leeds) as well as Pakistan’s Majid Khan (1976 in Karachi) among the batsmen to have achieved the feat.

He was voted Australia’s limited-overs international player of the year after scoring a world-leading 1,388 runs in ODIs, including nine centuries, in the voting period.

Starc was voted test player of the year, taking 52 wickets in the voting period, and Meg Lanning was took the prize for the Australia’s top female player.\

Watson is top T20 player

Meanwhile, retired all-rounder Shane Watson has pipped his former team-mate Glenn Maxwell to bag the T20 International Player of the Year.

The 35-year-old Watson, who retired from international cricket just after the World T20 in India last year, was the second highest run-getter behind Maxwell during the voting period from January 8, 2016 to January 7, 2017 but bagged the award on the back of his equally potent bowling.

Watson’s nine wickets from as many appearances at a tidy economy rate of just above seven runs an over, helped him bag the award, according to a CA statement.

“That seems like a long time ago now actually,” Watson said, referring to his time on the international scene.

“I’m certainly enjoying a different life now playing T20 cricket around the world. “There’s a lot less pressure than playing for Australia, so I’m enjoying that. I’ve got a lot more time to spend with my family and more downtime between tournaments,” he added after receiving the award.