Cricket Australia renames top Test award in Shane Warne’s honour

The award will be presented annually at the Australian Cricket Awards.

Spin great Shane Warne will be honoured with the Australia Men’s Test Player of the Year award to be renamed in his honour as ‘The Shane Warne Men’s Test Player of the Year’.

The award will be presented annually at the Australian Cricket Awards.

It is the second most prestigious award for men behind Allan Border Medal. The announcement of the award’s renaming coincided with the Boxing Day Test match between Australia and South Africa, the second match of the series at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where tribute was paid to the ‘The King’ at the first Test at his favourite venue since his shocking demise in March this year.

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Warne has won the award once, back in 2006, a year in which he took a record 40 Test wickets in the iconic 2005 Ashes series in England. Batter Travis Head won the award last year, while for 2023, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne and Nathan Lyon are three of the biggest contenders.

Labuschagne is the Australian leading run-scorer in the voting period, with 837 runs at an average of 69.75 in eight Tests since the last summer’s Ashes. He is narrowly ahead of Khawaja, who has scored 824 runs at an average of 68.66.

Nathan Lyon is the leading wicket-taker with 39 wickets since last summer, ahead of Mitchell Starc (27) and Pat Cummins (24).

This summer’s Australian Cricket Awards will be declared on January 30.

Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley and Australian Cricketers Association CEO, Todd Greenberg made the announcement.

“As one of Australia’s all-time greats, it is fitting we acknowledge Shane’s extraordinary contribution to Test cricket by naming this award in his honour in perpetuity,” cricket.com.au quoted Hockley.

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“Shane was a proud advocate of Test cricket and you only have to look around at all the fans who came out to the MCG in their floppy hats and zinc on Boxing Day to realise what a profound impact he had on the game,” he added.

Greenberg added: “I am proud that the ACA, along with Cricket Australia, is able to recognise the incredible impact Shane had on Test cricket with an award named in his honour.”

“While he was a once-in-a-generation player, he was very much a man who understood the important contribution all players made to Australian cricket. He played an important role in the formative years of the ACA and never knocked back an opportunity to promote and grow the game … and once they came, nobody knew how to put on a show quite like Warnie – particularly here at the MCG,” he added.

Men’s Test Player of the Year past winners: 2000: Glenn McGrath, 2001: Colin Miller, 2002: Matthew Hayden, 2003: Ricky Ponting, 2004: Ricky Ponting, 2005: Damien Martyn, 2006: Shane Warne, 2007: Ricky Ponting, 2008: Brett Lee, 2009: Michael Clarke, 2010: Simon Katich, 2011: Shane Watson, 2012: Michael Clarke, 2013: Michael Clarke, 2014: Michael Clarke, 2015: Steve Smith, 2016: David Warner, 2017: Mitchell Starc, 2018: Steve Smith, 2019: Nathan Lyon, 2020: Marnus Labuschagne, 2021: Pat Cummins, 2022: Travis Head.