Steve Smith has become the fourth Australia player and 11th player overall to win the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy after being named as the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2015.
Earlier this month, Smith was also named in the ICC Test and ODI Teams of the Year, which were picked by the ICC selection panel that was headed by former India captain and Chairman of the ICC Cricket Committee Anil Kumble.
Smith follows in the footsteps of Ponting (2006 and 2007), Mitchell Johnson (2009 and 2014) and Michael Clarke (2013) to lift the coveted trophy since the inception of the awards in 2004.
Other recipients of the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy include Rahul Dravid (2004), Andrew Flintoff and Jacques Kallis (joint-winners in 2005), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (2008), Sachin Tendulkar (2010), Jonathan Trott (2011) and Kumar Sangakkara (2012).
The top-order batsman was also adjudged the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year, which has made him only the seventh cricketer after Dravid (2004), Kallis (2005), Ponting (2006), Sangakkara (2012), Clarke (2013) and Johnson (2014) to bag the two coveted prizes in the same year.
During the voting period, which ran from 18 September 2014 to 13 September 2015, the 26-year-old from New South Wales finished as the leading run-scorer in Tests with 1,734 runs in 25 innings of 13 matches at an average of 82.57. This included seven centuries and six half-centuries. In 26 One-Day Internationals, Smith scored 1,249 runs at an average of just under 60 with four centuries and eight half-centuries. He was a member of the Australia side which won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 in Australia and New Zealand earlier this year.
Reacting to the news, a delighted Smith said: “Given that there are so many great players around the world, I’m incredibly honoured to receive these awards. While team success is always my number-one motivation, awards like this are very special. I’m thrilled and very proud to receive them.
“I will look back on 2015 with mixed feelings. Winning the ICC Cricket World Cup at home was a career highlight, and being appointed captain is a great honour, but the disappointment of losing the Ashes remains.
“To be the best team that we can be, we have to become better at winning away from home, and that remains our motivation heading into 2016.
“I’d like to thank my teammates and my family for their support over the year. I’d also like to thank the voting panel for this recognition, which is very humbling.”