Melbourne: Off-spin all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner and fast-bowling all-rounder Mitchell Marsh have clinched the top honours at the 2024 Australian Cricket Awards by winning the prestigious Belinda Clark Award and Allan Border Medal respectively.
At a ceremony in Melbourne to celebrate a remarkable year of achievement for Australian cricket, Ashleigh added a second Belinda Clark Award to the honour she first won in 2022 while Marsh won his first Allan Border Medal.
In the Belinda Clark Award, Gardner polled 147 votes ahead of runner-up Ellyse Perry (134) with Annabel Sutherland (106) in third place. In the Allan Border Medal, Marsh polled 223 votes with Pat Cummins (144 votes) and Steve Smith (141 votes) in second and third place.
Ashleigh was again outstanding in all formats throughout a season in which the Australian Women continued their dominance on the international stage winning the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, retaining the Women’s Ashes and winning ODI and T20I series in India. Across all formats, she scored 499 runs at 24.94 with a top score of 65 and took 56 wickets at 19.39 with best figures of 8-66.
A member of both the ICC ODI and T20I Teams of the Year, Ashleigh was also outstanding in the Australian Women’s two Test matches. Her remarkable 12-wicket haul against England at Trent Bridge, including match-winning figures of 8-66 in the second innings, was one of the highlights of the cricket year.
On the other hand, Marsh's first Allan Border Medal capped a wonderful year in which the experienced West Australian’s attacking batting was again a feature of the Australian Men's successful short-form campaigns and saw him recapture a place in the heart of the Test batting order.
He is the first allrounder to clinch the award in more than a decade, after Shane Watson did so in 2011. Across all formats, Marsh scored 1638 runs at an average of 58.5 with a top score of 177* at a remarkable strike rate of 96 as the Australian Men won its first World Test Championship title, retained the Ashes in England and won a sixth ICC Men’s ODI World Cup trophy in India.
Marsh also won the Men’s ODI Player of the Year Award after a year of stellar performances by members of the World Cup-winning Men’s ODI team. He scored 858 runs at 47.67 at a strike rate of 113.94 with a memorable top score of 177 not out against Bangladesh in the ODI World Cup game in Pune. IANS