27 February 2012

Michael Clarke wins the AB Medal Award

The annual Allan Border Medal Award evening took place where Michael Clarke won the award for the third time in his career.
It is a fitting ackolade given the brilliant manner in which he has led the Australian team since taking on the ODI and then Test captaincy.
Clarkey won the award in 2005, then shared it in 2009 with Ricky Ponting and has now taken it following an incredible year as both a leader and a player for Australia.

Clarkey has also won the Test player of the year award, while his vice-captain Shane Watson won the ODI and T20 award.
It is the third time Watto has won the ODI player of the year award (a hat-trick for him with 2010/2011/2012) after his monstrous overall contribution with the bat.
Watto has so much value for Australian cricket and this has been highlighted with the fact he is in the top 50 of every ICC player ranking category.
I thought Mitchell Johnson had a chance of the award but fairly Watto performed across the board especially that epic innings against Bangladesh.

Watto also won the Twenty20 award which was won by David Hussey last year, being the first year the award was handed out. This was voted by overall performance input, so once again it's the benefits of being an all-rounder.

David Warner won the Young Bradman award which I honestly thought Patty Cummins or James Pattinson (mostly Jaymo) would win.
Well done to the Pitbull in any case after making inroads to his Test career (an scintilating 180 against India, averaging 52.37), further consistency coming through his ODI game, power hitting in the T20 format and of course his performances across the board for New South Wales.
It is a fair award and the last time he will be eligible for the award. Hope he has another sensational year!

Rob Quiney, who really wrapped things up with his Sheffield output as well as a brilliant Big Bash League, won the State Cricketer award as a representative for Victoria, also known to us as The Bushrangers. Well done Rob.

Shelley Nitschke won the Women's International Player award for the fourth time!
Quite an achievement and her all-rounder efforts paved the way for her, especially given that she has since retired!

To do a round-up of the awards:
- AB Medalist: Michael Clarke
- Test Player: Michael Clarke
- ODI Player: Shane Watson
- T20 Player: Shane Watson
- State Player: Rob Quiney (Victoria/ Batsman)
- Young Bradman: David Warner
- Women's Player: Shelley Nitschke

Michael Clarke shows off his AB Medal alongside the man himself...Allan Border!
Well done Clarkey!
© Getty Images

South Australian Redbacks win the Ryobi Cup:
The great news of course is that the Redbacks won the Ryobi Cup against Tasmania.
It ends a long drought for South Australia, who lost won a One Day Trophy in 1985/86, during which time I was born. So it has been a while. Only last year they won the KFC Big Bash title before it became the Big Bash League, so it's a remarkable achievement.

They beat the Tasmanian Tigers at the Adelaide Oval after scoring 285, which the Tassie Tigers levelled with but lost on points.
I like the Tassie Tigers side and I was stoked to see George Bailey score a century leading his team while my favourite cricketer, Ricky "Punter" Ponting, put in a near match winning effort for his State team scoring 75*.

Gary Putland held his nerve to get the Redbacks over the line with a draw which meant they won due to points. Nail-biting stuff and what an epic promotional match for limited overs cricket!
The match was setup for momentum in particular after the opening stand between Dr. Dan Harris and Michael Klinger, a very happy Skipper.

As for the controversy with Punter taking his pads off?
As much as I'm a Redback supporter there was nothing wrong with this, nothing illegal about it and nothing within the rules to my knowledge stating this is not allowed.
Basically Punter removed his pads come the end of the match to run faster between the wickets for the required runs. The crowd wasn't chuffed but fact is it was perfectly fair. Some may see it as "not in the spirit of the game", but we have rules for a reason.

The Redbacks in their casuals with coach Darren Berry.
Picture: Calum Robertson

The Commonwealth Bank series:
Lastly with regards to the victory against India the other night. I missed the match to be honest but caught up on the highlights package.
A bit of controversy but I'm not all that bothered by it. In a nutshell David Hussey got off lightly and was lucky to not be dismissed for his "obstruction" but the Umpires call stands, case closed.
And Sachin Tendulkar isn't that old yet. He could have run around Brett Lee initially.
I understand his frustration on the matter but I didn't see anything making Binga out to have intentionally stuffed up Sachin's run as the non-striker. Case closed.

Our final match is against Sri Lanka.
The boys are through to the finals of the Commonwealth Bank series due to the bonus points picked up in the victories over India.
Well done to Matt Wade, David Warner and Dussey for their batting performances.
A good win for Shane Watson is his first game as Captain in Clarkey's absence. Good to see Watto again.

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Jesper said...


I enjoy reading your blog and just wanted to hear your point of view on selections.

Dropping Shaun Marsh from the test squad despite being best twenty20 and ODI player this year and now I'm reading sentiment to drop Michael Warner for ODI despite starring in t20 and tests ( Sportingbet http://bit.ly/yusUEw ).

Is it that different between the formats that a couple of sub-par performances can get you dropped despite playing well in other formats?

Ian said...

Hi Jesper

Thanks for sharing your comment.
I need to post an article with regards to the selected squad.

It's all on merit. Shaun Marsh hasn't been my any means the best player in any format. If anything he's had a torrid time with inconsistency.
As for David Warner, he's just finding his way. It's all about what your perceived value is and where you game is at within the series, in the moment, therefore the merit.

Generally if a player remains strong in one format he can hold onto his place, but as soon as it starts to filter into a format he is best at (or in better form) and there is any indication of mental weakness or confidence issues, then he can be dropped.

It's all about the player and circumstances.