Ponting clean sweeps awards night

Australian captain Ricky Ponting has capped off a stellar year, taking out all three major awards at tonight’s Allan Border Medal presentation.

In a period where he scored 1115 runs from 10 Test matches and 968 runs from 23 one-day internationals, no other cricketer could come close as he took out the Test award, the One-Day award and the much coveted Allan Border Medal for a record third time, by a record margin of 49 votes. Michael Hussey finished off another highly successful year, coming runner-up in the medal race with 58 votes.

“I’ve just had one of the greatest years of my life as far as cricket’s concerned,” Ponting said.

“It’s been an amazing year, the emotions have been up and down but mainly up.

“To be a part of this team is a huge honour and to be the leader of the team is an even bigger honour and to be standing here tonight to win the Allan Border Medal on top of such a great summer that this team has had, is a great thrill.”

Ponting becomes the first player in the award’s history to have won all three major awards.

Earlier in the evening, Tasmanian bowler Ben Hilfenhaus was awarded the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year, West Australian batsman Chris Rogers won the State Player of the Year award and Lisa Sthalekar took out the Women’s Player of the Year.

Richie Benaud and Charles Macartney also became the 26th and 27th members to be inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.

“It is a great privilege to be inducted to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame which, in my view, is the most prestigious of its kind in the sporting world,” Benaud said.

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