Cricket: Emotional Clarke wins Allan Border Medal

Michael Clarke of Australia poses after winning the Allan Border Medal. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Clarke of Australia poses after winning the Allan Border Medal. Photo / Getty Images

Michael Clarke has choked back tears after joining his captaincy predecessor Ricky Ponting as the only four-time winners of the Allan Border Medal.

But he says only returning Australia to the pinnacle of world cricket will truly satisfy him.

The 31-year-old won Australian cricket's top individual prize at Melbourne's Crown Palladium on Monday night, polling 198 votes, 33 ahead of joint runners-up Mike Hussey - retired from Test cricket and dumped from the one-day side - and two-time winner Shane Watson, about to start another international injury comeback.

Clarke, who struggled to speak when presented with the award, later said that celebrating the careers of Ponting and Hussey, along with Glenn McGrath being inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, had combined with his own honour to make it an emotional night.

"Tonight's probably the only night through the year that you get to reflect on what's been a great 12 months for the boys from the Australian cricket team,'' Clarke said.

"Reflecting on Ricky and Michael Hussey's retirements, to see Glenn McGrath ... it's a build-up of a lot of things to be honest.

"But it's unlike me and hopefully you never get to see that again.''

He said the award meant as much as his first, but at the start of a year which includes a Test tour of India and two Ashes series, team success would mean much more.

"When I first came into the Australian team, I was part of such a very special team and we had so many great players and we were the No.1 Test and one-day team in the world for a long period,'' Clarke said.

"Those memories stick fondly in the front of my mind and I want this current Australian team to have that same feeling and be able to walk out onto the field and know what it's like to be the best.''

Clarke also comfortably won the Test cricketer of the year award for the second straight time, after scoring 1080 runs at 77.14 in the nine Tests covered by the voting period, with Hussey also runner-up in that format.

Victorian paceman Clint McKay was named Australia's one-day cricketer of the year, while Watson won the Twenty20 award.

Recalled international top-order batsman Phil Hughes, who moved from NSW to South Australia in the off-season, was named the domestic player of the year.

Queensland and Brisbane Heat 23-year-old batsman Joe Burns was convincingly voted the Bradman young cricketer of the year.

Another 23-year-old batter, Jess Cameron, won the Belinda Clark Award, as the nation's top women's cricketer.

McGrath and Charlie Turner, who took 101 wickets in 17 Tests between 1887 and 1895, were both inducted into the Hall of Fame.

- AAP

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