Melbourne: Shane Watson and Clint McKay picked up the two most prized limited-overs awards in Australian cricket after being named Twenty20 and One-Day International Player of the Year respectively on Monday at the annual Allan Border Medal function.
Both players edged out David Warner and George Bailey in both categories. Watson polled 42 votes to beat Warner (29) and Bailey (16) for T20Is while McKay narrowly pipped Bailey and Warner (both 28). It was Watson's second consecutive T20I honour despite missing Australia's recent series against Sri Lanka due to a calf injury. Watson was Australia's leading run-getter (406 runs at 40.60) and wicket-taker (17 at 15.82) in Twenty20 cricket during the voting period of February 25, 2012 to January 28, and his amazing run of form included four straight Man-of-the-Match awards at the ICC World Twenty20 in September.
"It's been an interesting 12 months, that's for sure," Watson said at the ceremony. "It's nice things have come together pretty well in Twenty20 cricket but the last few months things haven't exactly gone to plan injury-wise. But I'm certainly very honoured to win the award."
However, he was unable to make it four ODI Player of the Year awards in a row as McKay, Australia's most successful bowler during the voting period, beat Watson. McKay's 26 wickets at 25.76 earned him the most votes for that prize; his good work included a match-winning five-wicket haul to clinch Australia the CB Series in 2012 and disciplined bowling in England last summer.
Phillip Hughes, who recently made a return to Australia's ODI team, won the Domestic Player of the Year award after taking 33.8% percent of the votes, beating Tasmania fast bowler Jackson Bird (29.1%) and Ricky Ponting (17.6%). Joe Burns, the young Queensland batsman, collected the promising player prize, the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award, while Jess Cameron took home the Belinda Clark Award for best female cricketer.