A guide to the Allan Border Medal. Does anybody have one I can borrow?

This is a call to anybody who possesses one of those old-fashioned pre-smartphone memory banks that extend further than the previous 72 hours.

I need somebody to microchip me with a rapid cram session on what has actually occurred in the last 12 months of Australian cricket so we can competently nut out who will be forced to manufacture some emotion as the winner of this year’s Allan Border Medal on Monday night.

Modern cricket’s sardine scheduling and skinny levels of home grown household names has left me trying to read a scrambled seam, and I need some tutoring on who on the payroll stands out in recent times.

Starc: the bowler who has broken down the least. Instant candidate.

Starc: the bowler who has broken down the least. Instant candidate.

Now before you splurge the memories, and I know this will eliminate a massive wedge from the information pie, you must know that anything about informed player management needs to be omitted. So please, concentrate on intently staring through that choking haze of contention as if looking for a hidden tugboat in a magic eye 3D image.

With AB’s bling of virtue up for grabs, what’s required is the hard data on those unsung backroom blokes who play second fiddle to the overlord physios and witch doctors, and that’s our beloved players.

Getting an indication on the winner of cricket’s Brownlow-wannabe award is becoming increasingly difficult with each passing year. As it still exists in street-cred accumulation stage, you don’t get the sneaky leaks of the AFL equivalent, so unfortunately you have to leave the bookies and unnamed insiders alone and think for yourself.

Wading through the complicated tapestry of the voting window is hardly straightforward.

Thanks to Cricket Australia’s locker room turnstiles spinning like over-throttled ferris wheels due to fluctuating form and enforced leisure time, and with so many different competitions meshing together to form a technicolour cricket reverie, it’s no wonder that Crown Lager sponsors the event inside a casino to provide a distraction for players from recalling tours and decoding the tallying process.

So before those Crownies arrive to surely provide further decision-making haze, let’s try and frame a market from the memories of the last 12 months.

The obvious choice for honours is Michael Clarke, the man with the wide bat for scoring and the broad shoulders for carrying our can. He’s a stellar choice for those plonking down some hard-earned, but one must remember that with the voting period running from 25th February 2012 to 28 January 2013, it means a good third of his record-breaking calendar year efforts will not be included for review, as 594 of his 1544 runs were made in the months of 2012 beforehand.

Many will also mention Michael Hussey, and really, murmurs of vote rigging for some farewell hardware for the revered man would probably be corruption embraced by all. However again, Mr Cricket spent some time out of the office due to family reasons, and in the last 3 weeks of voting, he was back in his Perth digs quietly throwing darts at pictures of John Inverarity while pyjama votes were up for grabs.

Warner may pester his way to the award.

Warner may pester his way to the award.

So perhaps it will come down to those who have simply become part of the dressing room furniture across all fashions of the game?

David Warner has bizarrely morphed in to some kind of Mr Consistency as the everywhere-man across the national spectrum, and is the leading run-scorer for the voting period with 1840 runs, so he will bring the smoky factor to calculations. However, is consistent selection with inconsistent influential knocks going to rack enough votes to get the medal around its neck?

Then there’s beanpole speedster Mitchell Starc who topped the charts for the bowlers across all forms with 51 wickets, so he may have a say in the final wash-up too. In saying this, the fact that only two bowlers have won the award in the past (Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee) shows they are cricket’s version of the unappreciated key position backs, so the young left-armer would probably be wasting a good quill by penning an acceptance speech.

Will the recipient come from one of these semi-convincing standouts or am I missing a special performance from the whirlpool of games that occurred in the relevant period?

I’m looking for some suggestions, as when I reach back in to my bubbling stew of recent Aussie cricket memories, I don’t get much chop.

I see and hear a lot of something that appears like Shane Warne, half of Peter Siddle and probably too much Glenn Maxwell. There’s a smidgeon of Usman Khawaja but only in conspiracy theories, a conga line of seamers wrapped in Elastoplast and a lot of public wailing, mainly about selections, T20 and Madden brother overkill.

Now I know I’m really struggling. I think I just saw Peter Forrest!

Someone with total recall, no rose coloured glasses and some smart money, please lend a hand.

Around which neck shall Captain Grumpy’s medal be hung?







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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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