Super Smith wins back-to-back AB Medals
EPIC Test performances in India and then again during an Ashes demolition have elevated national captain Steve Smith in to elite territory as a two-time winner of the Allan Border Medal.
Smith secured maximum votes in six of the 23 Test, one-day and Twenty20 matches throughout the 12 month voting period to join runner-up David Warner in collecting a second award on Monday night.
Between them Warner, who finished 84 votes behind Smith, and the skipper were judged by their teammates and the media as best players in 11 of the matches, nearly half, in a display of red and white ball dominance.
Off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who was the leading Test wicket-taker in the world last year, finished third, just six votes behind Warner despite not playing any limited-overs cricket.
BELOW: See all the winners from the Allan Border Medal night
Smith also secured his second Test player of the year award, while Warner went back to back in taking out one-day player of the year honours.
The pair were standouts throughout 2017, and their 12 month hauls of 1754 runs (Smith) and 1586 runs (Warner) were miles ahead of any other Australian player.
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Travis Head, one of only three batsmen to play more than 20 games, was next on the run-scoring list with just 640, making it just clear just how well the best two players in the team performed.
Accolades began to flow for Smith after his team's efforts in India last April which didn't result in a series win but suggested the young captain was starting to put his stamp on the team.
Australia played in-your-face cricket on the sub-continent and Smith walked the walk too with centuries in three of the four Tests.
A long year was interrupted by the bitter pay dispute with Cricket Australia and Smith was deemed a soft voice for his limited input in the stoush.
But he hit back with a roar during the Ashes and reeled off numbers which had not been seen on home soil for decades.
Smith again reeled off a match-winning 141 not out in Brisbane, before pounding the English bowlers to all parts of the WACA in Perth scoring a 239 as Australia secured the Ashes.
The captain finished the series with 687 run and became the first Australian captain since Don Bradman in 1946/47 to score 600 runs in an Ashes series.
He was also the first Australian to score three hundreds in an Ashes series since Matthew Hayden in 2002-03.
Smith became the third quickest player, ever, to 23 Test hundreds. Only Bradman and Sunil Gavaskar got there quicker.
He joined Ricky Ponting, a four-time Allan Border medallist, as the only batsman to make six hundreds in a calendar year more than once.
His Boxing Day century was his fourth straight in an MCG Test and he took his average at the great ground to an imperious 136.
Smith was lauded around the world for his efforts and he duly romped to an emphatic Allan Border medal win which cemented his place among the greats of the game.
In other awards superstar Ellyse Perry won the Belinda Clark award for the best female player, Victorian slugger Aaron Finch was named T20 player of the year for a second time and Tasmanian veteran George Bailey won the domestic player of the year award.
AND THE WINNER IS …
Allan Border Medal - Steve Smith
Test player of the year - Steve Smith
One-day player of the year - David Warner
T20 player of the year - Aaron Finch
Domestic player of the year - George Bailey
Bradman young cricketer of the year - Jhye Richardson
Belinda Clark Award - Ellyse Perry
Betty Wilson young player of the year - Georgia Redmayne
Female domestic player of the year - Beth Mooney
ALLAN BORDER MEDAL TOP 5
Steve Smith 246 votes
David Warner 162
Nathan Lyon 156
Pat Cummins 111
Josh Hazlewood 72