Hayden wins Border Medal for top cricketer

Published: Monday, February 11, 2002, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne: Test opening batsman Matthew Hayden was rewarded for his amazing year when he won the Allan Border Medal for Australia's top cricketer on Monday. Hayden polled 61 votes to finish ahead of leg spinner Shane Warne on 54 and Adam Gilchrist on 51. The Queensland left-hander also cleaned up the Test player award for the first time and his consistency in the five-day format proved decisive in the overall award voting. Hayden's international career looked over in the late 1990s but he flourished after his Test recall in early 2000 and reached great heights on the tour of India, where he was Australia's dominant performer. He scored 1509 runs in Australia's 14 Tests during the voting period, scoring at an average of 71.86 and polled 18 votes in the Test award, well clear of Warne on 13 and Gilchrist on eight. The 30-year-old Queenslander scored more runs than any other Test cricketer in 2001 and his 1391 total was the third-best ever in a calendar year. His career average is now 47.56. His outstanding Test record made him a favourite for the Border Medal even though he played in only 10 of Australia's 19 one-dayers during the voting period. Ricky Ponting also won his first One-day cricketer of the year award. Ponting, who scored 689 runs in 17 matches at an average of 45.93 and a strike rate of 87.33, polled 17 votes. Wicket-keeper Gilchrist and paceman Glenn McGrath were equal-second on 13, while One- day specialist Michael Bevan was next on 12. McGrath was ineligible for the One-day award and the Border Medal as Australia's best overall player because of suspension last month in the Limited Overs series against New Zealand and South Africa. The awards were for the top Australian players in the two forms of international cricket, starting with the February-March tour of India, then the tour of England, the home Test series against New Zealand and South Africa and the just-completed domestic matches against New Zealand and South Africa. South Australian captain Darren Lehmann was named the top State player for the third- straight year. Shane Watson, who will tour South Africa along with Lehmann later this month, won the Bradman Young Cricketer award. Former national captain Greg Chappell and Test batsman Stan McCabe were also inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

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