Australia Cricket Awards 2019, How to watch Allan Border Medal, Belinda Clark Award,
Australian cricket’s night of nights is here, with the game’s best to be honoured at the Australian Cricket Awards (ACA).
Previously known as the Allan Border Medal night, the ACA will see 11 awards handed out and former greats Billy Murdoch, Cathryn Fitzpatrick and Dean Jones inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
This year’s awards night will see the first ever “Community Champion Award”, honouring a state or national player for their charity and community work.
Here’s everything you need to know about tonight’s awards ceremony, including how to watch it, how the awards are decided and the frontrunners for the biggest prizes.
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HOW TO WATCH
Watch the entire Australian Cricket Awards ceremony on Fox Cricket Ch.501 from 7pm EDT.
WHERE AND WHEN
Players and their partners will hit the red carpet from 4:30pm to 5:15pm EDT before the ceremony commences at 7pm at the Palladium, Crown Melbourne.
THE ALLAN BORDER MEDAL
What is it?
The AB Medal is the most revered award in Australian men’s cricket, and since the start of the century has been bestowed upon the country’s best player of the past 12 months.
Steve Smith and David Warner have split the previous four medals, with Smith taking out 2018 and 2015 and Warner the two in between.
Neither man is in contention for this year’s award, meaning a first-time winner is guaranteed.
How is it decided?
The AB Medal is awarded to the player who has received the most votes from teammates, umpires (home matches), match referees (overseas matches) and members of the media in the voting period (January 9, 2018 to January 7, 2019)
At the end of each Test, one-day international or Twenty20 international, individual players’ votes are tallied in a 3-2-1 system, while the votes of the umpires/match referees and media are combined into a collective group 3-2-1 vote.
The vote system is weighted, with Test votes given a value of six, one-dayers three and T20Is two.
THE FRONT RUNNERS
Australia’s fast bowling warrior was the leading wicket taker among the quicks, with 44 wickets at an average of 25.61 playing all three formats. Cummins also scored two half-centuries during the voting period, including a superb innings at the MCG in the Boxing Day Test.
Cummins should pick up plenty of votes for his performances at Melbourne against India (9-99), however his 10-wicket haul against Sri Lanka fell outside of this year’s voting period. He was one of the few to leave South Africa with his reputation enhanced, taking 22 wickets at 21.45. He’s got a leg-up on his main rival for the medal, Nathan Lyon, as a regular in ODI cricket.
Spin bowler Nathan Lyon claimed the most wickets during the voting period, with 51 wickets at an average of 35.45. Lyon took two five-wicket hauls and was a consistent performer right around the globe with the red ball.
Having had a lean year with the while ball, Lyon will be hoping to have made up ground on Cummins in the two-Test series against Pakistan in October – a series the quick missed. He should pick up crucial votes from his eight-wicket effort in the second Test, as well as big points for his performances in the Adelaide (8-205) and (8-106) Perth Tests against India.
The Australian ODI captain scored the most runs in all formats for Australia during the voting period, scoring 1302 runs at an average of 38.29. He made the most centuries with four, while the next highest run scorer was Travis Head with 813. His medal chances are hindered by the paucity of success he has enjoyed in the Test arena.
BELINDA CLARK AWARD
What is it?
The Belinda Clark Award has been presented to Australia’s best female cricketer of the year every year since 2002.
Meg Lanning has claimed three of the past five awards, with Ellyse Perry claiming the award in 2016 and 2018.
Shelley Nitschke (2009-2012) and Karen Rolton (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006) have each won the prestigious award a record four times.
How is it decided?
Just like the AB Medal, the Belinda Clark Award is decided by a 3-2-1 vote system.
After each match the individual player votes are tallied, and the votes of the umpires/match referees and media are combined into a collective group vote.
Unlike the AB Medal, votes are worth the same in each format.
THE FRONT RUNNERS
The player of the tournament at the World Twenty20, Healy is the raging favourite to take out her first Belinda Clark Award. Healy scored 225 runs at 56.25 runs that tournament, and should be rewarded with plenty of votes after passing 40 in four of her five innings.
The keeper scored 907 runs at 45.35 across all international cricket in the voting period – 305 more runs than the next highest scorer.
Healy dominated the headlines all year, but seamer Megan Schutt was similarly important to a hugely successful year for the Australian team. Schutt was the equal highest wicket-taker at the 2018 World T20 (10 wickets at 11.10), and also topped the Australian list for the year (37 at 12.95).
With a best of 3-12 in the voting period, Schutt’s candidacy is built on consistency.
Ashleigh Gardner finished equal top wicket-taker at the World T20 (10 at 10.70), and was only behind Schutt for wickets in the voting period (31 at 15.42). Not bad at all considering what Gardner can do with the bat.
In an up and down year with the willow, Gardner only finished fifth for runs scored (392 at 28.00) but had a strike rate of 150.19. She can count on picking up plenty of points for her player of the match performance in the WT20 Final, in which she took 3-22 with the ball and scored an unbeaten 33 off 28 to guide Australia home.
MEN’S TEST PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Nathan Lyon looks a firm favourite to take out Test player of the year, and (49 wickets at 34.80) finished with 13 more wickets than the next most successful bowler.
That brings us to Pat Cummins (36 wickets at 23.92), who is Lyon’s strongest contender for Test Player of the Year. Despite another stellar year with the ball, it would be a surprise if Cummins pipped Lyon to the post given he missed two Tests against Pakistan – a series in which the spinner is expected to have picked up points.
MEN’S ODI PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Shaun Marsh only played seven ODIs in the voting period but is still firmly in a three horse race for the format’s player of the year. Marsh (416 runs at 59.43) scored three centuries for the year, with all three coming in losing causes.
Marsh’ 50-over captain, Aaron Finch (493 runs at 44.82), was the only other Australian batter to score three tons for the year in men’s ODI cricket and was the highest run-scorer in the voting period.
All-rounder Marcus Stoinis could be the smoky for the award after topping the wicket-taking charts (13 at 36.77) while chipping in with four fifties with the bat (376 runs at 28.92).
WOMEN’S ODI PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Much like in the T20Is, Alyssa Healy enjoyed herself with the bat in the voting period (329 runs at 54.83), scoring a century against India and 97 against Pakistan. Ashleigh Gardner (105 runs at 35.00, 11 wickets at 15.91) also shapes as a major contender after topping the wicket-taking list and sneaking into the top six for runs scored.
MEN’S T20I PLAYER OF THE YEAR
There are plenty of names in the mix for Player of the Year in a T20-heavy year of international cricket for Australia.
As the voting period’s highest run-scorer and having scored at a rate of 176.41, Aaron Finch (531 at 40.85) has to be considered the favourite.
At the same time, D’Arcy Short (515 at 32.19) and Glenn Maxwell (506 at 36.14) had big years with the bat. Andrew Tye (31 wickets at 18.94, econ. 8.57) and Billy Stanlake (25 at 18.40, econ. 7.80) stand the best chance among the bowlers.
WOMEN’S T20I PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Women’s World T20 Player of the Tournament Alyssa Healy is the likely player to take out the T20I Player of the Year. The big hitting opener scored 578 runs in the voting period from January 9, 2018 to January 7, 2019. Her strike rate of 145.9 was one of the highest in the competition, scoring six half-centuries from 16 innings. Meg Lanning (385 at 55.00) and Megan Schutt (28 wickets at 11.50) shape as her biggest rivals.
DOMESTIC PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Snubbed Tasmanian Matthew Wade appears to be the front runner to take out the Men’s Domestic Player of the Year award. The left hander scored the most runs over the voting period from December, 8 2017 to December, 11 2018, with 1509 runs at an average of 45.73.
Wade scored seven fifties and five hundreds, with a highest score of 139. Fellow left-hander Marcus Harris will be another contender (1415 runs at 41.62) given he scored one of the highest scores of the summer, with an unbeaten 250 against New South Wales for Victoria at the MCG.
Cameron White is a two-time winner of the award and the veteran scored 1336 runs at an average just under 50. White’s Melbourne Renegades and state teammate Chris Tremain leads the bowling charts, with 73 wickets at 22.52 in the voting period. The fast bowler took five five-wicket hauls and has been one of the best red ball bowlers over a number of seasons in the Sheffield Shield.
The Women’s Domestic Player of the Year is less clear cut, with a number of Australian players in the mix, with plenty of runs being scored in the voting period from December, 9 2017 to November, 12 2018.
Batters Elyse Villani (824 runs), Ellyse Perry (779 runs), Rachael Haynes (709 runs) and Alyssa Healy (693) all were outstanding, with the quartet combining for three centuries and 22 half-centuries.
With the ball, veteran Rene Farrell claimed the most wickets with 36 from 22 games, including a fine 6-17 performance. Seam bowlers Heather Graham (32 wickets) and Sarah Aley (29 wickets) were others who starred in the competition.
BRADMAN YOUNG CRICKETER OF THE YEAR
What is it?
The Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award is presented to the country’s most promising young male cricketer.
How is it decided?
Each first-class player is allowed to vote for one player younger than 24 who had not played more than 10 first-class matches and less than 25 combined List A and BBL matches at the start of the voting period (December, 8 2017 to December 1, 2018). They are not permitted to vote for a teammate.
Last year’s winner Jhye Richardson has already made an influence for Australia in the 12 months following him being handed the award.
THE FRONT RUNNERS
Batsman Will Pucovski is the favourite to take out the award having scored 534 at an average of 76.29 from five matches in the voting period. The Victorian youngster was called up to the Australia squad for the Test series against Sri Lanka, but was overlooked after Kurtis Patterson plundered back-to-back centuries in the practice match. Pucovski whacked 243 against Western Australia at the WACA, and scored another big century against Queensland at the MCG.
Western Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe made 594 runs in the victory period, hitting five half-centuries in 22 innings. State teammate Matt Kelly claimed 37 wickets at an average of 25.49, while Tasmanian quick Gabe Bell’s average of 22.14 denotes how outstanding he has been in his first full season for the Tigers.
NSW’s Jason Sangha and Jack Edwards will also be in the conversation after both scoring their maiden Sheffield Shield centuries against Tasmania.
BETTY WILSON YOUNG WOMEN’S CRICKETER OF THE YEAR
What is it?
Named after legendary all-rounder Betty Wilson, the award goes to a young player aged 24 years and under at the commencement of the award period. Sophie Molineux and Georgia Redmayne are the past two winners of the award which was introduced in 2017.
The player must have played 25 or less combined WNCL, WBBL and Australian representative games, with the voting period running from December, 9 2017 to November 12, 2018.
THE FRONT RUNNERS
Melbourne Renegades WBBL pair Georgia Wareham and Maitlan Brown are two of the favourites to take out the award.
Wareham was part of Australia’s World T20 triumph in the Caribbean, with the 19-year-old legspinner claiming 24 wickets at an average of 20.25 in the voting period.
Brown claimed 21 wickets in the voting period and has been part of the Australia A set-up.
Victorian young gun Annabel Sutherland (106 runs and 14 wickets) is another name to watch out for, while Hobart Hurricanes player Stefanie Daffara scored 356 runs in the voting period.
Originally published as Cummins and Lyon in shootout at cricket’s night of nights