Ponting named Australian PoY

Melbourne, February 6:

Australian captain Ricky Ponting won the Allan Border Medal, the second time in three years he has been named the country’s cricketer of the year.

In one of the closest counts of the award’s seven-year history, Ponting edged Mike Hussey by three votes to become the first player to win the honor twice.

The 31-year-old Ponting also won in 2004. He polled 83 votes from players, media and umpires to beat Hussey (80), while fast bowler Brett Lee finished third on 77 votes.

Legspinner Shane Warne won the Test player of the year award on the strength of a strong Ashes tour last year. Hussey won the limited-overs award on a countback after he, Andrew Symonds, Adam Gilchrist and Lee finished tied on 22 votes.

The Allan Border Medal had its first ineligible winner, when Symonds — who would have claimed the one-day award with six matches where he was best on the field — was ruled ineligible because he was suspended for a drinking binge during last year’s Ashes tour.

In other awards, NSW opener Phil Jaques was honoured as the country’s best domestic player with the state player of the year award. Newly appointed Australian captain Karen Rolton was named best women’s player for the fourth time in five years.

Former Australian captains Bob Simpson and the Monty Noble were inducted into the Hall of Fame.