David Warner has completed a stunning return to international cricket by claiming his third Allan Border Medal, but after a poor Ashes series the English haven’t let him forget it.
Warner was banned - alongside AB Medal runner-up Steve Smith - from representing Australia for a year after the 2018 sandpaper scandal, only returning in June to the national set-up.
Prolific performances in the World Cup and Australia's home Test summer allowed Warner (194) to edge out Smith (193) in Monday night's thrilling count at Melbourne's Crown Palladium.
Warner also fell to English fast-bowler Stuart Broad seven times throughout the series and couldn’t deal with the veteran’s combination of swing and pace.
Broad even appeared to troll Warner after many pointed out he was playing coy on why a highlight reel of his Ashes dismissals of the Aussie was being retweeted.
Why is this suddenly getting retweeted more today?! 🏏
— Stuart Broad (@StuartBroad8) February 10, 2020
The broader English community and others also reminded Warner of his series after claiming the medal.
David Warner, Australian cricketer of the year? pic.twitter.com/ksJDXAXYEt
— Nottinghamshire CCC (@TrentBridge) February 10, 2020
Things Stuart Broad takes out of his pockets on a night;
— Steve Gillies (@SteveIsAwake) February 10, 2020
I know we are disgracefully parochial in England and cricket is more than the Ashes (and that the Allan Border Medal is for play in all formats) but it is amusing that David Warner has won Australia's top cricket award after averaging less in last year's Ashes than Jack Leach
— Patrick Kidd (@patrick_kidd) February 10, 2020
David Warner wins Allan Border medal... I’m presuming his ashes performance had something to do with it pic.twitter.com/PZIDxF1efR
— Josh Metcalfe (@joshmetcalfe1) February 10, 2020
Is the winner of the AB Medal decided by the batsman whose been dismissed most times by Stuart Broad in a calendar year 🐇
— Duncan Flynn (@DuncanFlynn1) February 10, 2020
He’s some how won the Allan Border Medal whilst living in your pocket all last summer
— Johan (@JohanK94) February 10, 2020
Ashes batting of AB Medalists in winning year
2002 MHayden 234 runs 33.4 avg
2003 AGilchrist 333 55.5
2006 RPonting 359 39.9
2007 RPonting 576 82.3
2010 SWatson 240 48.0
2011 SWatson435 48.3
2014 MJohnson 165 27.5
2016 DWarner 418 46.4
2018 SSmith 687 137.4
2020 DWarner 95 9.5
— Swamp (@sirswampthing) February 10, 2020
Despite his Ashes performance, Warner excelled in the World Cup in England and with the bat on home turf throughout the Summer.
This David Warner Cricket of the year debate is absurd... granted 1 poor series fine BUT if an AFL Brownlow Medallist only gets 3 votes against bottom teams he gives the medal back? We get outraged far too much. Non debate.
— Marty Pask (@mpask) February 10, 2020
Allan Border Medal
Last year's medallist Pat Cummins (185) capped off a consistent 12 months across all formats to round out the top three.
Warner's triumph goes with his AB medals from 2016 and 2017, with the three victories putting him in rare company, only one behind four-time winners Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke.
He became emotional when delivering his acceptance speech, especially when it came to mentioning his family and wife Candice.
“My mum and dad, I know I’ve let you down a lot in the past but you always stick by my side and I really appreciate that, and my brother,” he said.
“My wife, my rock, I don’t know what could ever break you, you’re absolutely fantastic, you’re an inspiration not just to me but to the girls.
“It’s hard for a man to stand up here and say a lot of nice words about people but you always seem to bring the best out of me and the kindness of my heart.
“I can’t thank you enough for what you do for me and our family. I love you dearly.”