David Warner won the Allan Border Medal for the second successive year on Monday, pipping Australian captain Steve Smith for the honour.
Smith, who scored more runs than any other Australian player in 2016, hit four Test centuries and averaged 68.35 in the longest form of the game during the voting period.
In stark contrast, Warner’s Test average was just 39.70 and included only two hundreds – both scored against Pakistan on home soil.
It was Warner’s blistering 50-over form that got him over the line, with seven ODI centuries in the voting period seeing him finish with 269 votes, ahead of Smith (248) and left-arm quick Mitchell Starc (197).
“I was totally surprised and shocked [to win],” Warner told Cricket Australia’s official website.
“I thought Steve Smith would have taken it out – he’s had a great 12 months.
“I’m humbled and honoured to receive the award and I think it will sink in during the next week or so when I have some time to reflect on it.”
“Thanks to my teammates and Steve Smith – without you all I wouldn’t be here, as it’s a team game,” he said at the glitzy ceremony at Sydney’s The Star Casino and Hotel.
“I love representing my family, my teammates and all of Australia.
“This award is for everyone and I hope that Australia can keep winning games of cricket.”
Votes for the Allan Border Medal come from players, umpires (domestic matches), match referees (overseas matches) and selected media representatives in Test, one-day international and Twenty20 international cricket.
All vote-givers do so on a 3-2-1 basis with votes in a Test match weighted at three times the importance of a Twenty20 international, and two times a one-day international.
Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning claimed the Belinda Clark Award, for the women’s player of the year, for a third time.
Lanning, who smashed 1100 runs at 50.00 in the voting period, polled 51 votes, ahead of last year’s winner Ellyse Perry (43) and Jess Jonassen (33).
“It’s been a very successful year for the team and I’m enjoying playing in it as all the players and staff make my job very easy,” she said.
“I enjoy making runs and I want to beat the opposition – that’s what it comes down to.”
More glory for Warner, while Starc wins one too
Mitchell Starc became the first bowler since Brett Lee in 2008 to be crowned Australia’s Test player of the year, with the left-armer edging out Smith.
In the voting period, Starc took 52 wickets at a sublime average of just 24.29.
As expected, Warner took out the one-day prize, following a voting period in which he averaged 63.09 with the bat.
He finished ahead of all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and Victorian bowler John Hastings.
Shane Watson won the Twenty20 international player of the year, with Glenn Maxwell and Aaron Finch second and third.
It was no surprise to see Lanning win the women’s domestic player of the year while another Victorian – Cameron White – took out the same award for the men.
Sophie Molineux was the inaugural winner of the Betty Wilson young cricketer of the year award for the women, with Hilton Cartwright – who played his first Test in Sydney earlier this year – winning the men’s award.
Women’s cricket pioneer Wilson and men’s legends David Boon and Matthew Hayden were also inducted in the Australian cricket Hall of Fame.