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Smith and Mooney win big at CA awards

Steve Smith and Beth Mooney have been recognised for their efforts across all formats over the past twelve months, awarded the Allan Border and Belinda Clark Medal respectively as part of the Cricket Australia awards for season 2020-21.

The 31-year-old Smith scored more runs for Australia than anyone else during the judging period (Jan 9, 2020 – Jan 19, 2021), his tally across the three formats reading: 26 innings, 4x100s, 4x50s, 1,098 runs at 45.75.

In December, he also picked up the ICC accolade of Test Player of the Decade.

Smith won by 12 votes from fast bowler Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch in third spot with 97 votes.

Mooney won the highest individual honour in the women's game for the first time after a dominant year of cricket, the hard-hitting Queensland opening batter becoming the ninth woman to claim the Award since its introduction in 2002.

The 27-year-old left-hander also claimed the Women's T20 Player of the Year award for a season in which Australia won the T20 World Cup on home soil, having hit a record score for a final in front of more than 86,000 fans at the MCG last March.

"An award as prestigious and highly regarded as this, it doesn’t matter how you do it, it’s still a pretty surreal thing to have achieved and something I haven’t taken lightly," Mooney told reporters on Saturday.

"I feel like I’m just an ordinary human who’s picked up a bat and wanted to hit a few runs here and there and to be able to sit at the end of the season and win this award that’s been voted by my peers and some of the best players in the world is something I won’t take for granted and something I’m very grateful for."

Australia's women played 14 T20s across the voting period, which took in a tri-series against England and India, and a three-game series against New Zealand, in addition to the ICC tournament.

Mooney, with her 504 runs at 45.81 with a strike rate of 122.92, ran away with the T20 award, polling 30 votes, ahead of wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy on 18 with the trio of Ashleigh Garnder, Megan Schutt and Georgia Wareham all polling 16 votes.

Smith's outstanding form in one-day cricket saw him also named Men's ODI Player of the Year with 28 votes ahead of Aaron Finch on 23 and leg-spinner Adam Zampa with 19.

Even with missing all three matches in England, Smith scored 568 runs at 63.11 with centuries in Bengaluru and twice at the SCG within three days, as well as a knock of 98 in Rajkot.

Ashton Agar collected the men's T20 Player of the Year award after his 13 wickets at 12.46 and an economy of 6.75 from six matches, edging out fellow leg-spinner Adam Zampa and national captain Aaron Finch.

Agar was sensational on last February's tour of South Africa, where he claimed a T20 hat-trick as part of a five-wicket haul in a match at the Wanderers.

A host of domestic awards were announced on Friday afternoon, including Shaun Marsh who was voted by the players as the male domestic player of the year for a second successive summer.

IMAGE: The Cricket Times.


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