Medal honour for Watson
Shane Watson was awarded the Allan Border Medal to complete his fairytale return to international cricket.
By Rachel Griffiths
Last Updated: 15/02/10 1:15pm
Shane Watson was awarded his first Allan Border Medal to complete his fairytale return to international cricket.
Watson, who made a superb comeback after being plagued by a series of injuries that threatened to prematurely end his career, was presented with the award which honours Australia's best player of the previous year in all forms of the game and is voted for by players, media and umpires.
The 28-year-old was also named Australia's one-day international Player of the Year, while Simon Katich scooped the Test Player of the Year award.
Watson recovered from another bout of back stress fractures to cement his spot at the top of the Test batting order after being brought in to replace opener Phil Hughes during the Ashes series last summer.
The all-rounder, who had only played eight Tests in four years, readily seized the opportunity and proceeded to hit seven fifties and a maiden century from his next 14 innings.
"It's been an awesome ride and it's very overwhelming actually to receive this award," said Watson.
"For me this summer has been something I have only ever dreamed of.
"To get the opportunity that I did during the Ashes was something I looked forward to, to put my hand up and put in some good performances and to be able to continue that through this summer has been something as I said I have only ever dreamed of.
"Obviously it is an amazing honour to win the Allan Border Medal but to be able to turn my fortunes around a little bit over the last six to eight months is something I have found very satisfying."
Watson earned his first Test ton after being dismissed on three occasions for scores ranging from 89 to 96 over the Australian summer before being dropped on 99 in the Boxing Day Test against Pakistan.
He finally broke into triple digits with his highest score of 120 not out, then ended up with 849 Test runs at 56.60 and 13 wickets at 29.62 during the voting period in February this year.
In one-day matches, Watson notched up 1,258 runs at 41.93, including three centuries and six half-centuries, and claimed 37 wickets at 21.30.
Meanwhile, 34-year-old Katich landed 1,114 runs at 48.43 in the voting period for Test Player of the Year, including seven fifties and three tons, while also taking eight wickets at 17.25.