Earlier this week, Cricket Australia held its annual awards ceremony in Melbourne to recognize outstanding performances by players in the preceding year. The year proved to be immensely successful for Australian cricket, with notable achievements from the men's team, including victories in the ICC World Test Championship and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023, both against India in the finals.
Additionally, Australia retained the Ashes after a 2-2 series draw with England on English soil.
All-rounder Mitchell Marsh enjoyed a stellar 2023, playing a pivotal role in Australia's triumph in the World Cup. As a result of his remarkable performances, Cricket Australia bestowed upon him the prestigious Allan Border Medal for the best men's international cricketer. Marsh secured 79 more votes than Australian captain Pat Cummins, who also had an outstanding year.
All-rounder Marsh secured his first Allan Border Medal with 233 votes, surprisingly securing a significant 79 votes ahead of Pat Cummins, who led the Aussies to victories at the WTC and the ODI World Cup. While Marsh had already made a mark as a top-order batter and useful bowler in white-ball cricket, his remarkable comeback to Test cricket was crucial in earning him the prestigious accolade.
Marsh's decision to undergo ankle surgery in January 2023 paid dividends, leading to impactful performances in the Ashes series and subsequent Test matches, coupled with impressive displays in white-ball cricket, including a career-high 177 not out during the ODI World Cup.
Gardner reaffirmed her status as one of the world's top all-rounders by clinching her second Belinda Clark Award, following her win in 2022. Garnering 147 votes, she beat fellow all-rounders Ellyse Perry (134 votes) and Annabel Sutherland (106 votes). Gardner's exceptional performance spanned across formats, notably excelling in the Test arena where her remarkable bowling figures of 12-165 played a pivotal role in Australia's victory over England at Trent Bridge in June.
Lyon's exceptional performance both before and after his calf injury, particularly during the tour of India, where he played a pivotal role in securing Australia's spot in the World Test Championship final, showcased his enduring skill and value to the team. With standout moments such as his 500th Test wicket and crucial contributions with both bat and ball, Lyon demonstrated his continued prowess even as he approaches the twilight of his career.
Marsh outshone fellow World Cup heroes David Warner, Travis Head, and Adam Zampa to claim his first 50-over award, marking a golden period for him in the longer white-ball format. His consistent performances as a top-order batter, including crucial knocks in bilateral series and the World Cup, solidified his position as a key player in Australia's ODI squad, showcasing his adaptability and impact with the bat.
It was a relatively quiet year for men's T20, with Australia participating in only two bilateral series during the voting period. Behrendorff made a significant impact during these tours, marking his return to the format with impressive performances, particularly in India. Despite taking fewer wickets than some of his counterparts, Behrendorff's exceptional economy rate of 6.68 across five games earned him the award, highlighting his value in maintaining pressure on the opposition batters.
Perry's resurgence in T20 batting extended to her ODI performances, where she achieved a career-best strike rate. Notable highlights included her pivotal 91 in challenging conditions during the Ashes series, contributing significantly to Australia's retention of the trophy. Throughout the year, Perry displayed consistency and adaptability, with standout innings against Ireland and India, showcasing her newfound power game and reaffirming her status as a force in Australia's middle order.
Women's Domestic Players of the Year: Elyse Villani and Sophie Day
Men's Domestic Player of the Year: Cameron Bancroft
Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year: Fergus O'Neill
Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year: Emma de Broughe
BBL-13 Player of the Tournament: Matt Short (Adelaide Strikers)
WBBL-9 Player of the Tournament: Chamari Athapaththu (Sydney Thunder)