Australia’s Ashes hero Mitchell Johnson denied Michael Clarke a hat-trick when the paceman edged his skipper in a tight vote to pick up a maiden Allan Border medal on Monday.
The 32-year-old, adjudged man of the series in Australia’s 59-0 Ashes triumph over England, garnered 168 votes, 12 more than his captain, to cap a spectacular comeback by claiming his country’s most prestigious individual award.
“It has been an amazing journey coming back from injury, having a lot of doubters out there,” said Johnson, who collected more wickets than any of his compatriots across three formats of the game.
“But I just knew in my own heart that if I had that opportunity that I could make the most of it,” said the left-arm paceman, who was named International Cricket Council’s International Player of the Year in 2009.
Tasmanian James Faulkner, whose scintillating late assault powered Australia to a thrilling one-wicket win over England in the Brisbane one-dayer on Friday, came third with 121 votes in the poll drawn from fellow players, the media and umpires.
Clarke, however, could not be denied Australia’s Test Player of the Year award, while George Bailey(one-day internationals) and Aaron Finch(Twenty20) won honours in the shorter formats.