All-rounder Shelley Nitschke has finished her career on a high after claiming her fourth-straight Belinda Clark Award at Monday night's Allan Border Medal presentation at Melbourne's Crown Casino.
The 35-year-old, who quit international cricket last July and retired from all forms of the game in December, edged fellow all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar for the award, formerly known as the Women's International Player of the Year.
Nitschke polled 33 votes to Sthalekar's 31 with Alex Blackwell third on 26.
Sthalekar, who won the award in 2007 and 2008, has finished runner-up to Nitschke in each of the past four seasons.
A left-hand bat and left-arm orthodox spinner, Nitschke played in 13 of the 20 Test, ODI and T20I matches in which votes were awarded between the 18th of February last year and February the 3rd, 2012.
She scored 285 runs at 23.75 with a high score of 78 and claimed 21 wickets at 17.62 with best figures of 3-35.
Sthalekar played in all 20 matches for stats that were comparable to Nitschke's – 285 runs at 21.92 and 30 wickets at 18.23.
The Belinda Clark Award honours the former Test captain who scored 919 runs at 45.95 in 15 Tests and 4844 runs in 118 ODIs at 47.49.
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First Posted 27 February, 2012 10:03PM AEST