Mitchell Marsh, Ash Gardner named Australia’s top cricketers

Belinda Clark Award winner Ashleigh Gardner poses with Allan Border Medal winner Mitchell Marsh in Melbourne on Wednesday night.

Belinda Clark Award winner Ashleigh Gardner poses with Allan Border Medal winner Mitchell Marsh in Melbourne on Wednesday night. Photo: Getty

Mitch Marsh believed he was “hated” five years ago but the resurgent allrounder has comfortably shaken off that tag after being embraced as one of the most popular winners of the Allan Border Medal.

The 32-year-old was crowned Australia’s best men’s player on Wednesday night, just six months after finally breaking back into the Test team.

Star all-rounder Ash Gardner took out the women’s top honour, claiming her second Belinda Clark Award in three years.

Since smashing a brilliant Ashes century on his return, Marsh has not looked back and become a lock across all three formats.

The hulking Western Australian delivered a classic speech, equal parts funny and touching, after accepting the medal from Allan Border himself.

He almost broke down when thanking ODI captain Pat Cummins and national coach Andrew McDonald for “believing” in him.

“I’m a bit fat at times and I love a beer but you see the best in me always and you’ve changed my life,” he said.

“For your support and your leadership, Patty, playing under you is a dream.”

During his time on stage, Marsh reflected on a comment he made during the 2019 Ashes, which came only months after he was booed at the MCG.

“I often regret that statement (saying ‘most of Australia hate me’). It was made tongue-in-cheek,” he said.

“Hopefully, I will eventually shake that comment.”

After thinking he was “done and dusted” as an international cricketer, the encouragement of wife Greta, Cummins and McDonald helped him charge into career-best form.

“(McDonald) in particular, the language he uses around his belief in me and what I can do,” Marsh said.

“Probably two years ago, I didn’t believe that myself and he’s kind of forced me to.

“There’s no doubt that he’s had a significant impact on my career in the last two years and really my whole life. He’s a tremendous man.

“There’s always pressure when we play but the environment that’s created has allowed me to really be my true self and think that’s coming out in the way that I play, certainly the way I bat in Test cricket. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Marsh was a runaway winner, finishing 79 votes ahead of Test and ODI captain skipper Cummins in a medal voted on by players, umpires and media.

The West Australian was helped by regaining his spot in the Test team during the Ashes.

He also took the ODI player of the year award after starring in Australia’s stunning World Cup win in India, while his contributions in T20s made him a tri-format player.

Marsh joins the likes of Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Steven Smith, Cummins as an Allan Border Medal winner.

Star spinner Nathan Lyon was a surprise winner of the Shane Warne Men’s Test player of the year.

Despite missing the final three Tests of the Ashes due to a torn calf, Lyon’s outstanding performances in India were enough for him to collect the red-ball award for the second time – and first since 2019.

Opener Usman Khawaja took out the ICC Test cricketer of the year after making 1062 runs at 42.48 across 13 matches.

But the 37-year-old, who has been a revelation since being recalled to the Test team in January 2022, was unable to secure back-to-back Australian red-ball awards.

There was more joy for West Australians as fast bowler Jason Behrendorff collected the T20 player of the year award.

Star women’s all-rounder Ellyse Perry took out the ODI and T20 awards, but Gardner pipped the veteran by 13 votes.

Gardner starred in Australia’s Test win during the multi-format Ashes in England and the spinner performed admirably in the red-ball defeat to India on a turning wicket in Mumbai.


Belinda Clark Award: Ashleigh Gardner (147 votes), Ellyse Perry (134), Annabel Sutherland (106)
Allan Border Medal: Mitchell Marsh (223 votes), Pat Cummins (144), Steven Smith (141)
Women’s ODI Player of the Year: Ellyse Perry
Women’s T20I Player of the Year: Ellyse Perry
Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year: Nathan Lyon
Men’s ODI Player of the Year: Mitchell Marsh
Men’s T20I Player of the Year: Jason Behrendorff
Women’s Domestic Player of the Year: Sophie Day, Elyse Villani (tied).
Men’s Domestic Player of the Year: Cameron Bancroft
Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year: Emma De Brough
Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year: Fergus O’Neill

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