David Warner (L) pipped Steve Smith (R) in one of the tightest finishes in the Medal’s history. Picture: Sarah Reed
David Warner (L) pipped Steve Smith (R) in one of the tightest finishes in the Medal’s history. Picture: Sarah Reed

‘I didn’t turn up for Ashes': Medal winner’s stunning honesty

AN emotional and grateful David Warner credited the unwavering acceptance of his peers after winning a third Allan Border medal to complete one of cricket's great resurrections.

Warner was genuinely shocked to win the award after what he called an "absolutely horrendous" Ashes series.

But his white-ball dominance, particularly at the World Cup, and an epic triple century against Pakistan helped seal a single vote victory over batting maestro Steve Smith.

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David Warner with his third AB Medal. Picture: Graham Denholm/Getty
David Warner with his third AB Medal. Picture: Graham Denholm/Getty

The 33-year-old thanked everyone in cricket for the work done to re-integrate himself and Smith back in to the Australian cricket fold last year after both were banned for their role in the ball-tampering scandal.

He said time spent during his ban gaining perspective, battling personal issues as well, made him appreciate what his cricket career meant to him.

Warner heads back to South Africa on Friday for a white-ball tour, ready to handle everything the locals can throw at him having recorded such a significant moment in his second-chance career.

"I knew I what I had to do to keep doing what I love doing, and that's scoring runs," Warner said.

David Warner (L) pipped Steve Smith (R) in one of the tightest finishes in the Medal’s history. Picture: Sarah Reed
David Warner (L) pipped Steve Smith (R) in one of the tightest finishes in the Medal’s history. Picture: Sarah Reed

"It means a lot to me, but it means a lot more to my family, who I owe a lot to," he said.

"There were a few tough times with me and my wife, we had two miscarriages, there was a lot of things going on in my life away from cricket that I had to work on.

BELOW: EVERY WINNER FROM AUSTRALIAN CRICKET'S NIGHT OF NIGHTS

I was able to do that and that was the thing about not having cricket there, I had to work out what was best for me.

"I've had to work my backside off, a I give a lot of credit to the people who have stuck by me, and egged me on to keep being the cricketer I am, to play as well as I can."

Warner conceded that he "didn't turn up" for the Ashes, a career low-point during he which scored only 95 runs in five Tests.

"And I apologise for that," Warner said.

He said the first thing he did when he returned to Australia was to throw away his bats "because they didn't work".

David Warner had a home summer to remember. Picture: Brett Costello
David Warner had a home summer to remember. Picture: Brett Costello

But he then turned his mind to doing the real work needed to rediscover his best, which included hours and hours in the nets before the Brisbane Test, where he scored 151.

Warner said that laid the foundation for the 335 not out in Adelaide which could prove a watershed moment when it comes to the legacy the often polarizing batsman could leave.

"There were three or four fours leading in to the Brisbane Test I batted for nearly three hours every day," Warner said.

"I really needed that work in to me, that volume in to me, and I did the same thing going in to the next Test match and that built the foundation, having all that work and time out there, it really got me right for the summer.

Last year's winner Pat Cummins was third in the voting, while Marnus Labuschagne capped his rise to prominence by taking out the Test player of the year award on the back of 1340 runs in just 11 Tests, with four hundreds.

Australian limited-overs captain Aaron Finch was named one-day player of the year for the first time.

 

2020 AUSTRALIAN CRICKET AWARD WINNERS

Allan Border Medal: David Warner

David Warner 194 votes

Steve Smith 193 votes

Pat Cummins 185 votes

Male Test Player of the Year: Marnus Labuschagne

Male One-Day International Player of the Year: Aaron Finch

Male Twenty20 International Player of the Year: David Warner

Male Domestic Player of the Year: Shaun Marsh

Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year: Wes Agar

Belinda Clark Award: Ellyse Perry

Ellyse Perry 161 votes

Alyssa Healy 153 votes

Jess Jonassen 87 votes

Female One Day International Player of the Year: Alyssa Healy

Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year: Tayla Vlaeminck

Female Domestic Player of the Year: Molly Strano

Female Twenty20 International Player of the Year: Alyssa Healy

Community Champion Award: Corrine Hall



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