In a landscape dominated by exciting and prolific young cricketers, Cameron White has struck another blow for the veteran class by being named the top domestic player for the second time in three years.
White, who made his most recent international appearance in 2015 when he was recalled to Australia’s T20 team in the wake of his previous Men’s Domestic Player of the Year Award, has again been in stellar form.
And the 33-year-old joins current Australia coach Darren Lehmann (2000-02) and Western Australia veteran Michael Klinger (2009-10) as the only multiple winners of the domestic honour that was first presented in 2000 and announced at tonight’s Crown Lager Allan Border Medal presentation.
On his recent returns for the Melbourne Renegades in the KFC Big Bash League, White looms as a strong chance to win another Australia call-up when the team for next month’s T20 Internationals against Sri Lanka is announced.
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A team that will be selected on the strength of performances in the domestic 20-over competition that culminates this week.
White finished the qualifying rounds of BBL|06 as his outfit’s second-highest runs scorer (behind his Renegades skipper Aaron Finch) and in the top dozen scorers of the competition.
Given that several others ahead of him – notably former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum and ex-England stars Luke Wright and Kevin Pietersen – can’t be considered for Australia duties, the former Victoria captain will undoubtedly figure in selection discussions.
But it was performances across all formats – Sheffield Shield, the Matador BBQs One-Day Cup and BBL games – that saw him claim the prize that was last year won by another 30-plus veteran, WA’s Adam Voges.
Across all three forms during the voting period, from 11 December 2015 to 9 December last year, White scored 1408 runs at 54.15.
Which was more than the award’s second-placegetter, South Australia captain now ODI regular Travis Head (1197 at 47.88) and newly-capped Test batter Peter Handscomb (1106 at 39.50) who finished third in the voting.
In addition, White was integral to Victoria’s Sheffield Shield title win over SA in Adelaide last summer, scoring a crucial 78 batting at number seven for the Bushrangers’ in the final when they risked surrendering a first innings lead to the Redbacks.
And he was the leading runs scorer in the Matador Cup last year, with 457 runs at 76.17 which was more than twice as many runs as the next-best Victoria batsman, Glenn Maxwell.