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Pup, Punter tie for AB medal
By Michael Horan - Daily Telegraph (NSW Metropolitan, 4 February 2009)

AUSTRALIAN captain Ricky Ponting and his deputy Michael Clarke last night figured in the first ever tie for the Allan Border medal.

In a count covering 12 Tests and 17 one-day internationals the pair could not be split after a neck-and-neck tally of votes cast by players, media and umpires.

They finished on 41 votes, with prolific West Australian Michael Hussey three votes back on 38, while one of the medal favourites, Mitchell Johnson, and opening batsman Simon Katich tied for fourth with 30 votes.

"This is an amazing shock to me. I've been sitting back all night just waiting for Pup or Mitch to get up here tonight and accept the award,'' Ponting said before speaking with genuine passion about the challenges ahead.

"As we all know it's been an up and down year for the team and everybody at the moment is writing us off. but I know in my heart we're not very far away at all. The last couple of months it's been an amazing time with some of our greats leaving the team and some very young and exciting players coming into the team.

"It's an amazing challenge for me and certainly Michael to keep leading this team in the right direction, hopefully showing some direction and passing on some experience to the younger guys. It's something I'm looking forward to.''

Clarke, who will lead Australia against New Zealand at the MCG on Friday while Ponting takes a rest, was more succint. "It means a lot, I'm very honoured to receive the Allan Border Medal and even more honoured to be standing here beside my captain,'' Clarke said.

Earlier in the night Clarke was named Test Player of the Year, his 12 votes two clear of Ponting and Katich. It is Ponting's fourth Border medal - he won in 2004-6-7 while Clarke is now a dual winner after his first success in 2005.

Over the voting period Ponting scored 1283 runs at an average of 37.74 with three hundreds and eight fifties while Clarke returned 1228 runs at 39.61, with four centuries and five fifties.

A packed Crown Casino ballroom was kept in suspense until the very end before the tie was confirmed.

Border again humbly acknowledged the status the medal had received in its 10-year history.

"Some of the greatest players we've ever produced have walked up here on this stage,'' Border said.

One of them was recently retired Test opener Matthew Hayden, who received special recognition for his remarkable 103-Test career that returned 8625 runs at an average of 50.73, with 30 centuries.



=1. Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke 41 votes
3. Michael Hussey 38
=4. Mitchell Johnson, Simon Katich 30

* All player votes are counted after every Test and one-day international and a collective 3-2-1 vote is cast.

* Umpire and media votes for each match are also combined for a collective 3-2-1 per game.

* The Test votes are weighted, by dividing the 12 Tests in the voting period into the 17 one dayers for a multiplying figure of 1.42.

* The final media tally and player tally for the overall Border Medal Test votes are rounded up or down for two round figures, which are then added to the one-day votes for the final figure.

* The Test and one-day awards are player votes only.

1. Clarke 12
=2 Ponting, Katich 10
4. Johnson 7
5. Peter Siddle 6

1. Nathan Bracken 16
2. Michael Hussey 15
3. Shaun Marsh 14
4. James Hopes 11
5. Ponting 8

1. Michael Klinger (SA) 60
2. Brett Geeves (Tas) 18
3. Chris Rogers (Vic) 13

1. Phillip Hughes 78
2. Peter Siddle 39
3. Tom Cooper 4

1. Shelley Nitschke 27
2. Lisa Sthalekar 25
3. Jodie Fields 22
4. Alex Blackwell 19
5. Emma Sampson 15 | End

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