Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson was awarded the prestigious Allan Border Medal in Sydney, on Monday. The 32-year-old veteran was the man-of the-series in his team's 5-0 Ashes triumph against England recently.
Johnson's 37 wickets at 13.97 from the five Ashes Tests had left England in tatters. It was an effort which was considered worthy of the honour - given to Australia's most outstanding cricketer. And while skipper Michael Clarke was the favourite to claim it for the fifth time, the pacer emerged victorious with 168 votes as against Clarke's 156 . James Faulkner (121), Shane Watson (119) and George Bailey (114) were the other top contenders.
Interestingly, Johnson played just six of Australia's 14 Tests during the voting period - beginning from February 1, but his remarkable performance - one lauded by even the English press - was considered critical for Australia's success.
Johnson now joins a rare club of exceptional Australian cricketers like legendary pacer Glenn McGrath (2000), former skippers Steve Waugh (2001) and Ricky Ponting (2004, 2006, 2007 and jointly in 2009), explosive opener Matthew Hayden (2002) and speedster Brett Lee (2008). Clarke won the award in 2009 (jointly with Ponting), 2012 and 2013.
This year, Clarke was adjudged Australia's Test cricketer of the year. George Bailey was declared ODI player of the year while Aaron Finch was adjudged T20 player of the year.