Steve Smith with his third Allan Border Medal (Picture: cricket.com.au)

Australia’s run-machine Steve Smith bagged his third Allan Border Medal as ICC Women’s World T20 star Beth Mooney collected her first Belinda Clarke Award at the 2021 Cricket Australia Awards.

Smith topped the batting charts with 1,098 runs, at a healthy average of 45.75. He scored 4 tons and as many fifties in what was a cricketing calendar interrupted by the pandemic. Smith (126) finished ahead of all-format vice-captain Pat Cummins (117) and limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch (97).

Steve Smith (28) also won the ODI player of the year award. His ODI haul of 568 runs at 63.11 from 10 innings was enough to pip Finch (23) who scored 673 runs at 56.08 from 13 innings. Earlier, Smith had picked up the ICC accolade of Test Player of the Decade in December.

Cummins (16), who was named player of the series in the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy with 21 wickets, won the Test player of the year award.

Josh Lalor, who featured for Melbourne Renegades in BBL 10, was honoured with the Community Impact Award for his work on Reflect Forward, a joint movement between racism education company One Love Australia and the Australian sports industry.

Beth Mooney bags maiden Belinda Clarke Award

Women’s cricketer Beth Mooney, who won her first Belinda Clarke Award, is just the ninth winner of the prestigious award. She also ended the monopoly of teammates Meg Lanning (2014, 2015 & 2017), Ellyse Perry (2016, 2018 & 2020) and Alyssa Healy (2019) to claim the award since 2013.

Overall, Mooney dominated with the bat during the voting period with 555 runs from 17 knocks. She had also scored three big knocks during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, including her unbeaten 78 in the final against India to help her side secure the trophy at the MCG on March 8.

Mooney finished ahead of skipper Meg Lanning, who scored 442 runs in the same period, while young-gun Georgia Wareham (50) sealed her first podium finish. Lanning also lost out to her deputy, Rachael Haynes, in the race for the ODI women’s player of the year.

The Players were nominated by their peers and the winner is decided by a committee involving a representative from CA and the Australian Cricketers’ Association and two independent former players, Glenn McGrath and Kath Koschel.

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