In an awkward result for Australian cricket, Cameron Bancroft polled three votes as Australia’s second-best player for his performance in the Test that may have ended his international career.
As Cricket Australia ran through the awards towards the Allan Border Medal at the sport’s night of nights in Melbourne, Nathan Lyon was named the men’s Test player of the year for his incredible 2018 campaign.
While the spinner was recognised for his efforts with the ball, an odd scene played out in the background with the three batsmen involved in the Cape Town ball-tampering saga.
IN PICTURES: Aussie cricket stars hit the black carpet
Steve Smith and David Warner polled just two votes and one vote respectively for their showings in the January 9, 2018 to January 7, 2019 period.
Bancroft, meanwhile, polled three votes.
All were for his impact with the bat in the infamous Cape Town Test match against South Africa.
While it will be remembered that Bancroft used sandpaper on the ball and lied to the media with Smith about Warner’s involvement, the opener top-scored in Australia’s first innings with 77 runs.
However, all six votes earned by the three players were for nought – Bancroft, Warner and Smith were all ineligible after being suspended by Cricket Australia.
The suspended players did not attend the awards in Melbourne.
Pat Cummins breaks Warner, Smith run
With Smith and Warner ineligible to continue their four-year stranglehold, a first Allan Border Medal was won by star bowler Pat Cummins.
The paceman has fought past injury to become the in-form bowler and vice-captain of the Test team.
The star paceman polled 156 votes to surpass Test player of the year Lyon (150) and limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch (146) in the count.
— #7Cricket (@7Cricket) February 11, 2019
Ultimately, it was Cummins’ status as a ODI regular that gave him the edge over Lyon, who did not poll in either white-ball format.
A shining light in a grim year for Australian cricket, Cummins snared 44 wickets at 25.61 across all formats during a 12-month voting period which did not include his recent man-of-the-series performance against Sri Lanka.
The 25-year-old has moved up to second on the ICC’s Test bowler rankings. He will head into the first Ashes Test in August on the cusp of reaching 100 Test wickets quicker than any other Australian fast bowler since the 19th century.