Cricket: Emotional David Warner wins Alan Border Medal

An emotional David Warner has completed a stunning return to international cricket by claiming his third Allan Border Medal, finishing a single vote ahead of Steve Smith.

The pair were banned from representing Australia for a year, after the 2018 sandpaper scandal, only returning to the national set-up in June.

Prolific performances in the World Cup and Australia's home test summer allowed Warner (194) to edge out Smith (193) in Monday night's thrilling count at Melbourne's Crown Palladium.

Last year's medallist, Pat Cummins (185), capped off a consistent 12 months across all formats to round out the top three.

Warner's triumph goes with his AB medals from 2016 and 2017, with the three victories putting him in rare company, only one behind four-time winners Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.

He became emotional when delivering his acceptance speech, especially when it came to mentioning his family and wife Candice.

"I couldn't be any prouder to stand here and receive the award... [and] to see the rest of the other guys doing so well," Warner said.

"I really had a hunger and determination to come back, and really put my foot forward... so to have a summer like that really put a smile on my face."

Australian cricket's other highest individual honour went to star women's allrounder Ellyse Perry, who picked up her third Belinda Clark Award with 161 votes.

Perry's dominant Ashes series skyrocketed her eight votes in front of last year's winner Alyssa Healy (153), with Jess Jonassen third on 89.

Ellyse Perry
Ellyse Perry Photo credit: AAP

"It's a huge surprise and I will savour it," Perry said. "It's been a very special time to be involved." 

Warner also picked up the Twenty20 international honour, while Marnus Labuschange was rewarded for his stunning consistency since the Ashes Lord's match to win his maiden test player-of-the-year award.

Limited-overs captain Aaron Finch (38 votes) finished ahead of axed batsman Usman Khawaja (33) for the one-day player of the year.

Warner's success caps off a significant redemption tale, with Cricket Australia banning the aggressive opening batsman from holding a leadership position after the Cape Town ball-tampering saga.

The 33-year-old plundered bowling attacks during the World Cup, finishing with 647 runs at an average of 71.88, one run behind Indian opener Rohit Sharma for the leading scorer of the tournament.

Warner struggled during Australia's retention of the Ashes, before making up for it with a dominant home summer, highlighted by a record-breaking 335 not out against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval.

Smith was the opposite, as he was untouchable against England with 774 runs from only four tests, but below his absolute best on return to Australian shores and failing to score a century across five tests.

In other awards, former Australian batsman Shaun Marsh took out the men's Domestic Player of the Year and Wes Agar picked up the Bradman Young Cricketer.


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