Ellyse Perry and Steve Smith reign supreme

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    If Ellyse Perry and Steve Smith hadn’t been confirmed as Australia’s best cricketers of the year at a gala dinner in Melbourne last night, there would have to be a Royal Commission.

    The world’s number one all-rounder Perry won a second Belinda Clark Award, while the world’s number one Test batsman Smith matched it with a second Allan Border Medal.

    Perry beat Beth Mooney and Megan Schutt for the honour, while Smith accounted for his vice-captain David Warner, and Nathan Lyon, the world’s most successful wicket-taker in 2017.

    More importantly, both Perry and Smith are not only great ambassadors for Australian cricket, but the world scene as well by the way they handle themselves on, and off, the field.

    Last night both were humbled by their wins, both stating that team success meant more than any personal achievements.

    And seeing they were instrumental in Australia regaining both the women’s and men’s Ashes on Australian soil, their recognition was the icing on the cake.

    Perry made her maiden Test ton with a massive 213 not out at North Sydney Oval, while Smith topped the run-getters from both sides with 687 runs at a massive average of 137.40, including a top score of 239 among his three centuries.

    Long may they reign, they are exciting to watch.

    Smith had a great night by adding the Test Player of the Year from the same group of Warner and Lyon – Warner won the ODI Player pf the Year from Smith, Marcus Stoinis, and Travis Head, while Aaron Finch beat Adam Zampa, Moises Henriques, and Jason Berendorff for the T20 honours.

    Steve Smith with Allan Border medal

    (AAP Image/Nikki Short)

    Beth Mooney won what would have been the closest battle of the night for the women’s ODI award from Perry, and Alyssa Healy.

    One of the most popular awards of the night belonged to one of interstate cricket’s senior citizen in Tasmanian batsman George Bailey. At a lively 35, Bailey took out the Domestic Player of the Year award.

    Bailey did well enough to again be in the international mix, but the selectors ignored his genuine claims.

    He brought the house down when he turned around and bent over after recalling his Dad suggested he give the selectors his other cheek.

    The Bailey smile constantly gives Australian cricket one of the most endearing moments.

    Recognition was given to four former Test cricketers who died during the year – Len Maddocks, Joyce Dalton, Johnny Gleeson, and Bob Holland – who were great servants of the game.

    Three former Test cricketers were inducted into the Hall of Fame – Karen Rolton, the late great Norm O’Neill, and Ricky Ponting.

    Why it’s taken a decade since O’Neill died beggars belief, he deserved the recognition when he was alive to enjoy it.

    Norm’s son Mark, himself a Sheffield Shield cricketer of note and an excellent coach, made one of the speeches of the night.

    As a very emotional bloke, how he kept his cool talking about his Dad did him great credit, especially recalling the career high 181 against the Windies in the first tied Test in 1960 at the Gabba, widely rated as one of the very best.

    As for Rolton and Ponting, they are right up there among the all-time greats with Rolton owning a 55.66 Test average, Ponting 51.85.

    One thing we learned last night from Shane Warne, who inducted Ponting into the Hall of Fame, was the leggie originally tagged the former Australian skipper with the nickname of Punter that will forever stick.

    Last, but by no means least, Michael Slater did a superb job as host, although he looked a little awkward when Ellyse Perry towered over him.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn’t get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world’s great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • Roar Guru

      February 13th 2018 @ 10:26am
      Paul D said | February 13th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

      Well done to Steve Smith – unfortunate for Nathan Lyon though, he has one of the best 12 months of any Australian spin bowler since Warne and gets nothing. Could have at least got test player of the year, he’s been good enough and consistent enough.

      But I guess cricket is all about scoring runs, it’s a batsman’s game after all.

      • Columnist

        February 13th 2018 @ 11:28am
        David Lord said | February 13th 2018 @ 11:28am | ! Report

        Fair call Paul D, Nathan Lyon thoroughly deserved recogntion but was the only one of Australia’s three best male cricketers along with Steve Smith, and David Warner, to miss out with Smith winning the Allan Border Medal and Test player of the year, with Warner the ODI player of the year.

        Of the 20 Border Medal winners since 2000, Glenn McGrath, Brett Lee, and Mitchell Johnson are the only bowlers to succeed, with all-rounders Steve Waugh, and Shane Watson, winning three between them – six out of 20.

        Surprisngly, Shane Warne never enjoy the honour.

        As for cricket being a batsman’s game, it takes 20 wickets, barring declarations, to win a Test, and the bowler has first crack at the head-to-head. so there’s a genuine argument against that comment.

        • Roar Guru

          February 13th 2018 @ 12:01pm
          Paul D said | February 13th 2018 @ 12:01pm | ! Report

          My rebuttal is the last 20 years of cricket. But go for it David, make that argument. I’m sure you’ve got word quotas to fill.

          • February 13th 2018 @ 2:29pm
            spruce moose said | February 13th 2018 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

            Or, what David has forgotten is that both teams can take 20 wickets in a test, and thus the winner is the team with more runs.

            Therefore, the need to get runs outweighs (slightly) the need to get wickets. Therefore, a batsman’s game.

            • February 13th 2018 @ 9:01pm
              Yawn said | February 13th 2018 @ 9:01pm | ! Report

              Oh please. How many times have both teams taken 20 wickets in a test match? I reckon twice! How many tests have been played? Silly comment.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 5:23am
                Mitcher said | February 14th 2018 @ 5:23am | ! Report

                In every test of the recent sth Africa India series.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 9:04am
                spruce moose said | February 14th 2018 @ 9:04am | ! Report

                Yawn,

                Yet another example of someone who thinks cricket is only played in Australia or England, between Australia and England.

                40 wickets fell last week in Sri Lanka v Bangladesh.

                Happened between Australia v Bangladesh last year too.

                Happened in the first two tests between AUstralia and India last year too. Happens all the time.

                Move along chump.

      • February 13th 2018 @ 4:19pm
        Chris B said | February 13th 2018 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

        And well done to Ellyse Perry, also an awesome player. Amazing double ton, and consistent with the bat throughout the WBBL

    • February 13th 2018 @ 11:57am
      spruce moose said | February 13th 2018 @ 11:57am | ! Report

      Steve Waugh an all-rounder when he won? Ha.

      Tests in 2000: 7 overs. 0 wickets.
      ODI’s in 2000: 23 matches, 13 overs, 1 wicket.

      I think we can say with some confidence that Steve Waugh was purely a batsman at that stage in his career.

      Shane Watson remains the only all-rounder to win it, in his capacity as an all-rounder.

      • Columnist

        February 13th 2018 @ 2:38pm
        David Lord said | February 13th 2018 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

        spruce, Steve Waugh was like Doug Walters, it’s amazing how many times both broke long partnerships when the frontline bowlers failed to do so.

        Sure both were predominately batsmen, but they played a telling bowling role as well, and both were sensational fieldsmen.

        • February 13th 2018 @ 3:38pm
          spruce moose said | February 13th 2018 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

          I quite agree. And had his back not failed him in the late 1990’s and he had to give up bowling, I’m sure Waugh would have been included in discussions with Kallis and Sobers regarding the great all-rounders of all time.

          But in the year Steve Waugh won the Allan Border medal, it was exclusively because of his batting. As you can see, he all but stopped bowling in the year his performances were measured for the medal. A mere 42 wicketless balls in two tests against NZ (that were handsomely won by Australia), and just the dismissal of Vinod Kambli in a ODI.

          He can’t be considered an all-rounder for the purposes of this exercise.

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