SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Steve Smith swept Australia’s annual awards ceremony yesterday, winning three prizes including the Allan Border Medal for the Player of the Year.
The middle-order batsman, who captained Australia to victory in the test series against India when regular skipper Michael Clarke was injured, also won the test and one-day international player of the year accolades.
The 25-year-old Smith became the third player to land three awards in the same year, repeating the feats of Ricky Ponting in 2007 and Shane Watson in 2011.
“I definitely feel like I’m a lot more confident now than I was then,” Smith said, referring to his lack of runs during the 2013-14 Ashes series.
“I feel as though my preparation has been really good over the last while, like I’m hitting the ball as well as I ever have. You’ve got to try to be as confident as you can walking out to the middle.”
In 2014, Smith scored 1,146 test runs at an average of 81.85 with five hundreds coming against South Africa, England and India. He also scored 541 runs in ODIs including two centuries.
He polled 243 votes to win the best player award by a big margin ahead of opening batsman David Warner (175) and last year’s winner Mitchell Johnson (126).
“As a kid I used to sit back and watch the Allan Border Medal and see some of my childhood stars appear on the TV and receive these awards,” Smith said.
“To have received one now is a pretty amazing feeling.”