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Ash Gardner takes out top honour at Cricket Australia's night of nights

Jarred Cross -

Ash Gardner has won her second Belinda Clark Medal, which recognises Australia's best female performer across all three formats of international cricket.

Her award comes after a stellar 12 months in both red and white ball cricket.

The star allrounder narrowly took home the top award ahead of T20 and ODI player of the year Ellyse Perry by 147 votes to 134.

Gardner received her first Belinda Clark medal in 2022 and joins the short list of six previous multi-time winners.

The latest accolade came after consistent showings with bat and ball in a year that saw her Australian side claim an Ashes series in England and the T20 world cup - Gardner's sixth time lifting the trophy.

The 26-year-old led the international ODI wicket tally in 2023 - taking 24 scalps at 16.37, while averaging around 30 with the bat across both white-ball formats.

A dominant 12/165 (8/66 in the second innings) of Australia's one-off Ashes Test victory in England stood as arguably her greatest display from the year.

Last week, Gardner was selected in the ICC's Women's T20 team of the year.

In receiving the award, she was quick to spread the achievement amongst those alongside her on winning Wednesday's medal.

"First, (I'd) just to thank my cricket family…Obviously going away for a lot of the year it's a lot easier with all my teammates (and) all the support staff, so a special shout out to you guys," she said.

"And then of course to my family. You obviously know what you mean to me. You're always there. You pretty much come to every single game whether it's grade cricket or whether I'm playing for Australia.

"And of course my partner Mon. It's people like you that obviously make playing cricket a lot more enjoyable."

A proud Muruwari woman, Gardner was also handed the Community Impact Award.

Following the 2024 Australian Cricket Awards, Gardner and Australia's attention turns back to their first trilateral series against South Africa.

The Proteas rose for a historic first-ever win over Australia in Sunday's second T20 international in Canberra.

An unbeaten 26-run cameo innings from Gardner helped Australia take a 2-1 lead in the series on Tuesday with three ODI and the debut Test match between the two nations to follow.

Australia and South Africa travel to Adelaide for the first ODI on Saturday.

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