Sport Cricket Aussie captains Smith, Lanning win top awards

Aussie captains Smith, Lanning win top awards

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Steve Smith can add another trophy to his cabinet after the International Cricket Council (ICC) named him cricketer of the year, while his Southern Stars counterpart, Meg Lanning, was named the year’s best one-day international player in the women’s game.

In addition to the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, Smith was also recognised as the year’s best Test player, while South Africa ODI captain AB de Villiers was named 2015’s one-day international player of the year.

The voting period spanned from September 18, 2014 to September 13, 2015.

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In that time, Smith scored 1734 runs in 13 Tests at an average of 82.57, with seven tons and six half-centuries, and took over the national team captaincy after Michael Clarke’s retirement during the Ashes.

Josh Hazelwood was named the emerging cricketer of the year. Photo: ABC
Josh Hazlewood was named the emerging cricketer of the year. Photo: Getty

The 26-year-old also had a brilliant year in the 50-over game, scoring 1249 runs at 59.47 including a half-century in the final of the Cricket World Cup against New Zealand.

Smith said the highlight of the year was Australia’s World Cup win on home soil, but it was his progression from a hopeful leg-spinner to national captain and superstar batsman that pleased him the most.

“For me, Test cricket is the pinnacle. It always has been,” he said.

“To have improved to the player I am now from when I started, it’s pretty satisfying [but] I’ve got a lot of work to keep doing.

“You want to continually get better each day and that’s one of the mantras the Australian cricket team has.”

Lanning, meanwhile, played seven ODIs in the voting period, which included her dominant run against the West Indies last November.

The 23-year-old skipper scored two centuries as part of her 531 runs at 88.50 in those matches.

Click the owl   for a full list of the 2015 ICC award winners

Her top score during that stretch was also her career-best – 135 not out against the Windies.

The world governing body named Australian Test seamer Josh Hazlewood the emerging cricketer of the year.

Hazlewood, 24, made his Test debut in December last year and took 51 wickets in 11 Tests at an average of just under 22 this year.

“We’re incredibly proud to have three Australian players receive international awards and we congratulate Steve, Meg and Josh on their efforts over the past year,” Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said.

“These awards are great recognition of the players’ dedication and commitment on the field, including their respective achievements in the triumphant ICC Cricket World Cup and Women’s Ashes in England.

“Steve, Meg and Josh are all fantastic ambassadors for Australian cricket and are doing a great job inspiring more boys and girls across the country to pick up a bat and ball.

“We wish them well for the year ahead.”

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