A tearful Michael Clarke has matched Ricky Ponting's record of four Allan Border Medals as Australia's leading cricketer.
The 31-year-old, who won the 2005, 2009 (with Ponting) and 2012 medals, was also named the Test Player of the Year at Monday night's black-tie function at Melbourne's Crown Casino.
The skipper paid tribute to former team-mates Ponting and Michael Hussey and re-enforced his commitment to taking Australia to the top of the rankings in all formats before emotion cut his acceptance speech short.
Clarke played all nine of Australia's Tests and completed 15 of 26 ODIs during the voting period from February 25 last year to January 28, 2013 for a return of 198 votes.
Shane Watson was equal second with the retired Mike Hussey (165).
Watson, also named Australia's T20 Player of the Year, was just 33 votes behind Clarke despite missing 15 matches over the three formats during the voting period because of injury.
David Warner (148), the leading run-scorer for the past 12 months with 1840, was fourth while Mitchell Starc (122) was the best of the bowlers in fifth place.
Clarke's magnificent double-centuries in back-to-back Tests against South Africa were the most memorable performances of this summer.
And given votes for each Test match carried double the weight of one-dayers and three times that of T20 games, which he doesn't play – those matches in Brisbane and Adelaide helped Clarke clinch his second straight AB Medal.
Clarke finished 2012 at number four in the list of highest Test run scorers in a calendar year, with 1595 runs at an average of 106.33, although the voting period includes only the six home Tests in Australia this summer.
Starc had a breakout year in 2012, and was easily Australia’s leading wicket-taker across all formats during the voting period.
The lanky left-arm bowler claimed 51 wickets overall at an average of just 21.15, which included 20 Test match wickets at an average of 27.55.
Nathan Lyon was the highest placed spin bowler in 11th place with 48 votes.
Others who received awards were Clint McKay (ODI Player of the Year), Phillip Hughes (Domestic Player of the Year) and Jessica Cameron (Women's International Player of the Year).
Also, McGrath and fast bowler Charlie Turner (1887-1895) were inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Cricket Australia
First Posted 04 February, 2013 10:25PM AEST