Starc was honoured for his strong performance in all three formats of the game. He is only the fifth bowler in 22 years to win the award.
Gardener also bagged the recognition for the first time. She is the first indigenous player to clinch the top gong in Australian women’s cricket.
“I never dreamt of ever winning this award. When I took the call I was in complete surprise,” Gardner told Channel Seven.
“I’m still in shock. To be the first ever First Nations person to win this award is super special not only for me but for my family and my people too.”
“I’ve certainly grown up both on and off the field and maturing off the field has an impact on my game. All I ever want to do when I go out with the ball or with the ball is to win for the team,” Gardener added.
The awards were decided by a voting process for the period 2021-22.
The award winners were decided by votes from players, umpires and media representatives throughout the year. The announcement came during the lunch break of the ongoing women’s Ashes Test here.
Starc, who took 43 wickets across all formats in the 12-month period, edged out all-rounder Mitchell Marsh by one vote.
Allan Border Medallist, for the very first time! Congratulations, Mitchell Starc 👏 #AusCricketAwards https://t.co/JDQlzI6Dos
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) 1643418820000
“I’m not really sure what words to say at the moment. It was a huge surprise. To look at some of those names who have won it before, it will take a bit to sink in. Hugely honoured to receive this award,” Starc said.
Gardner was Australia’s third-highest run-scorer and fifth-highest wicket-taker across the voting period, scoring 281 runs at an average of 35.10 that included four half centuries while also claiming nine wickets.
She received 54 votes to win the Belinda Clark award ahead of Beth Mooney (47) and Alyssa Healy (39).
Ashleigh Gardner claims her first Belinda Clark Award! Deadly 🖤💛❤️ #AusCricketAwards https://t.co/Ec6vW299pm
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) 1643419900000
It was double celebration for Starc as he also won the men’s ODI Player of the Year. He joins Pat Cummins, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath as the only fast bowlers to win the top award since its inception in 2000.
Star wicketkeeper batter Alyssa Healy won the women’s ODI Player of the Year award for the third time.
These two will be competing for space on the mantlepiece! Mitchell Starc and Alyssa Healy have been voted ODI Pla… https://t.co/yzIlGzrY12
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) 1643420414000
The big-hitting Marsh, who was the star of the T20 World Cup final last year, was named the Men’s T20 Player of the Year after a tremendous 12 months.
How dominant was this man in our #T20WorldCup campaign?! Mitch Marsh has been named Men’s T20 Player of the Year… https://t.co/tMRLKPZqM1
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) 1643418766000
Marsh, who scored 627 runs from 21 T20Is, received 53 votes, ahead of pacer Josh Hazlewood (29) and spinner Ashton Agar (26).
Beth Mooney won her second successive women’s T20 Player of the Year award. With 13 votes, she finished ahead of Tahlia McGrath (10) and Gardner (6).
Batter Travis Head bagged the Test Player of the Year award courtesy a brilliant Ashes campaign that included two match-winning hundreds.
The accolades continue for Travis Head! After an incredible #Ashes campaign, he’s been named the Men’s Test Playe… https://t.co/wboWndh7wA
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) 1643418501000
List of 2022 Australian Cricket Awards:
Belinda Clark Award: Ashleigh Gardner (54 votes)
Allan Border Medal: Mitchell Starc (107 votes)
Men’s Test Player of the Year: Travis Head (12 votes)
Women’s ODI Player of the Year: Alyssa Healy (13 votes)
Men’s ODI Player of the Year: Mitchell Starc (15 votes)
Women’s T20 Player of the Year: Beth Mooney (13 votes)
Men’s T20 Player of the Year: Mitchell Marsh (53 votes)
Women’s Domestic Player of the Year: Elyse Villani
Men’s Domestic Player of the Year: Travis Head
Betty Wilson Young Cricketer: Darcie Brown
Bradman Young Cricketer: Tim Ward
Australian Cricket Hall of Fame inductees: Justin Langer and Raelee Thompson