Cummins claims 2019 Allan Border Medal

Pat Cummins caps a sensational individual year with his first Allan Border Medal

Andrew Ramsey Senior Journalist

11 February 2019, 11:05 PM AEST

Allan Border Medal: Pat Cummins

The notion that Pat Cummins has become the Australia men's team's most valuable performer gained further kudos tonight when the fast bowler was named winner of the 2019 Allan Border Medal.

More than seven years after Cummins announced himself as one of the most exciting finds in Australia cricket, only to succumb to a series of long-term injuries, Cummins inscribed his name into the men's game's honour roll at the Australian Cricket Awards presented in Melbourne.

In the process, the 25-year-old justified the excitement that accompanied his rise to Test ranks as a raw-boned teenager at Johannesburg in 2011, where he earned player-of-the-match honours in his debut match.

And he effectively quelled the whispered fears that his vast talent might never be fully realised as a result of the succession of stress fractures to his back and other fast-bowler-related ailments that meant he did not player another Test until 2017.

Tonight, Cummins stood before a packed room of his peers and former greats at Melbourne's Crown Entertainment Complex to receive Australia men's cricket's most prestigious individual award from the former Test captain whose name adorns it.

In doing so, he joined a prestigious club of former Border Medal winners that includes Steve Waugh, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Steve Smith and David Warner.

Cummins is the first bowler to have earned the honour since Mitchell Johnson was crowned in 2014, in the wake of his stunning home Ashes summer.

At 25 years and 279 days, he is also the youngest Border Medallist since Smith won the first of his two awards to date in 2015 when aged 25 years and 239 days.

Cummins the main man for Aussies

However, the prospect of leading the Australia attack in the upcoming northern summer – which begins with a World Cup campaign in the UK from late May to be followed by an Ashes Series – looms as perhaps Cummins' most exciting challenge.

The right-armer was part of Australia's Cup-winning squad on home soil in 2015, and was added to the Ashes squad later that year when Ryan Harris succumbed to a debilitating knee injury.

But he did not play a Test during that unsuccessful series, and it was almost two years hence before he eventually returned to the Test arena against India at Ranchi.

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As a result, Cummins makes no secret of his excitement at being part of Australia's bid to retain the urn by winning their first Ashes series on British turf since 2001.

"I am absolutely pumped," Cummins said recently about the prospect of his inaugural away Ashes, having been part of Australia's dominant home win over England last summer.

"Obviously, last summer the Ashes were great, four-nil and we haven't won a series over there in yonks, and I haven't played in one (in the UK).

"So I can't wait with the Dukes ball, swinging that around. I feel like I really control the swing, and it feels like that is fast bowling.

"For me, it doesn't get any better than that."

Cummins finished the Border Medal with a combined total – across Test, ODI and T20I formats as adjudged by teammates as well as media and umpire votes – of 156 votes to finish ahead of men's Test Player of the Year Nathan Lyon (150 votes).

Cummins comes within inches of a hat-trick

ODI and T20 skipper Aaron Finch finished third in the Border Medal voting with 146, with One Day Player of the Year Marcus Stoinis and Usman Khawaja tied in fourth place on 102 votes each.

The other men's awards winners were Glenn Maxwell (T20 International Player of the Year), Matthew Wade (Domestic Player of the Year) and Will Pucovski (Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year).

The evening's pre-eminent women's award – the Belinda Clark Award – was won by Alyssa Healy, who also received the One Day International Player of the Year and the International T20 Player of the Year honours to cap a remarkably dominant year.

The Female Domestic Player of the Year was Western Australia's Heather Graham, while 19-year-old Georgia Wareham was crowned Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year.

Also tonight, former Australia representatives Billy Murdoch, Dean Jones and Cathryn Fitzpatrick were inducted into cricket's national Hall of Fame.

Smith, who was last year's winner, polled 12 votes in games prior to his 12-month ban that was imposed after the Cape Town Test last March, and finished 25th in the voting.

Warner finished with 14 votes while Cameron Bancroft, who returned to cricket in the KFC Big Bash League shortly before new year, was equal 22nd in the polling (with Marnus Labuschagne) having finished the year-long voting period with 18 votes.

All three players who were banned as a result of the sandpaper incident were invited to this evening's event, but opted not to attend.

2019 Allan Border Medal voting Pat Cummins - 156 votes Nathan Lyon - 150 Aaron Finch - 146 Marcus Stoinis, Usman Khawaja - 102 Andrew Tye - 85

Ashes 2019