Ponting wins Allan Border Medal, again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ponting wins Allan Border Medal, again

By Adam Cooper 06/02/2006 10:28:59 PM Comments (0)

Australian captain Ricky Ponting crowned a magnificent personal year with the bat by winning the 2006 Allan Border Medal, becoming the first dual medallist.

In one of the closest counts of the award's seven-year history, Ponting pipped the fast-finishing Mike Hussey by three votes to become the first player to win the accolade twice.

The 31-year-old skipper, who last month played his 100th Test and is currently ranked the world's best batsman, also won the award in 2004.

He polled 83 votes from players, media and umpires to beat Hussey (80) by three votes, while reborn fast bowler Brett Lee finished third on 77 votes.

Just as last year, when Michael Clarke won the overall prize despite not claiming either of the Test or One-Day player awards, Ponting watched as teammates pulled off the major category accolades.

Legspinner Shane Warne won the Test player of the Year award on the strength of a superb Ashes tour last year and an outstanding past 12 months, which reaped 93 wickets amid the anguish of his separation from wife Simone.

Warne was accompanied by oldest daughter Brooke.

Where Warne's award was clear-cut, Hussey's triumph in the One-Day award was anything but.

The left-handed batsman, who made a meteoric rise into the Test and one-day teams in the past year, won the limited overs award on a countback after he, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist and Lee finished tied on 22 votes.

The Allan Border Medal had its first ineligible winner, when Symonds - who would have claimed the one-day award with six matches where he was best-afield - was ruled ineligible because he was suspended for a drinking binge during last year's Ashes tour.

Hussey gained votes in Australia's final two matches of the tri-series pool matches to close the gap on Ponting.

In other awards, NSW opener Phil Jaques was recognised as the country's best domestic player with the State Player of the Year award, South Australian spinner Dan Cullen won the Bradman Young Player of the Year and newly-appointed Australian skipper Karen Rolton was named Best Women's Player for the fourth time in five years.

Former Australian captains Bob Simpson and the deceased Monty Noble were inducted into the Hall of Fame.

While this was cricket's chance to glitz it up off the field, the audience was saddened by the absence of fast bowler Glenn McGrath, the inaugural Allan Border medallist in 2000, who was at home in Sydney with wife Jane, who is battling cancer for a third time.

Although 2005 was dominated by the Ashes loss, Ponting's individual form could not be questioned.

He hit 1,596 Test runs with seven centuries and also scored 1,137 runs in one-day internationals, with another two hundreds.

Ponting will this week skipper Australia in the tri-series finals against either Sri Lanka or South Africa, who play Tuesday in Hobart.

Warne's outstanding Test form catapulted him into the running for the overall award, despite him not playing any one-day matches.

Warne finished in fifth place overall with 70 votes, while Gilchrist was fourth with 75 votes despite enduring the first serious slump of his international career.

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