The biggest names in Australian cricket swapped their whites and green and gold kits for dapper suits and eye-catching dresses on Wednesday night. The likes of Pat Cummins, Alyssa Healy, Steve Smith, Ellyse Perry, Mitch Marsh and Ash Gardner were all in attendance with their partners as the annual Australian Cricket Awards took place in Melbourne.
Marsh and Gardner were the big winners, snaring the Allan Border Medal and Belinda Clark Award respectively - the highest individual honours in men's and women's cricket in Australia. Perry won the women's T20 and ODI player of the year awards, while Marsh also won the men's ODI award.
Jason Behrendorff was named men's T20 player of the year, while Nathan Lyon scooped the Shane Warne men's Test player of the year gong. But the talk of the cricket world is Marsh, after the all-rounder capped his incredible career resurgence with the AB Medal.
The all-rounder has been a star in T20 and ODI cricket for years, but it was only halfway through last year that he finally cemented his spot in the Test team. He came back into the Test side at the expense of Cameron Green for the third Ashes Test in England, making a brilliant century and not looking back.
He was the runaway winner of the AB Medal on Wednesday night, finishing a whopping 79 votes ahead of Pat Cummins in second place. After once famously declaring "most of Australia probably hates me", Marsh has turned himself into a fan favourite.
"I often regret that statement (saying 'most of Australia hate me'). It was made tongue-in-cheek," he said on Wednesday night. "Hopefully, I will eventually shake that comment."
Mitch Marsh's emotional tribute to wife and supporters
Marsh acknowledged having support is a "great feeling", which was exemplified at the MCG during the Boxing Day Test in December. He was once booed by Australian fans at the MCG, but won widespread adoration in 2023. "I've felt a lot of love from the Australian cricket community and there's no doubt that's helped me," he said.
Marsh became emotional when thanking wife Greta, as well as captain Pat Cummins and coach Andrew McDonald. After thinking he was "done and dusted" as an international cricketer, the encouragement of the those three helped him charge into career-best form.
— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) January 31, 2024
"(McDonald) in particular, the language he uses around his belief in me and what I can do," Marsh said. "Probably two years ago, I didn't believe that myself and he's kind of forced me to.
"There's no doubt that he's had a significant impact on my career in the last two years and really my whole life. He's a tremendous man. There's always pressure when we play but the environment that's created has allowed me to really be my true self and think that's coming out in the way that I play, certainly the way I bat in Test cricket. It's been a lot of fun." Check out some of the best looks from the blue carpet below:
Cricket Australia Awards winners:
Belinda Clark Award – Ash Gardner (147 votes)
2nd: Ellyse Perry (134)
3rd: Annabel Sutherland (106)
Allan Border Medal – Mitch Marsh (223 votes)
Pat Cummins (144)
Steve Smith (141)
Women's ODI Player of the Year – Ellyse Perry
Women's T20I Player of the Year – Ellyse Perry
Shane Warne Men's Test Player of the Year – Nathan Lyon
Men's ODI Player of the Year – Mitch Marsh
Men's T20I Player of the Year – Jason Behrendorff
Women's Domestic Player of the Year – Sophie Day, Elyse Villani (tied)
Men's Domestic Player of the Year – Cameron Bancroft
Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year – Emma De Brough
Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year – Fergus O'Neill
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