Australian Cricket Awards: Nathan Lyon is Test Player of the Year
Nathan Lyon bowled Australia to victory in Perth with eight wickets. © AFP

Nathan Lyon has been honoured with a coveted prize at the annual Australian Cricket Awards – formerly known as the Allan Border Medal – in the form of being named Australia’s Test Player of the Year.

Lyon has thus become the first Australian finger spinner to win the award. (READ MORE: Marcus Stoinis named ODI Player of the Year)

The 31-year-old polled a combined total of 25 votes from his team-mates and umpires/media representatives to beat Pat Cummins (22 votes), Usman Khawaja (17) and Tim Paine (nine). During the 10 Tests that spanned the voting period, Lyon took 49 wickets at 34.70 across series in South Africa, the UAE and at home.

Lyon, Australia’s fourth-highest wicket-taker in Tests, won the prize based largely on his back-to-back eight-wicket hauls against India in Adelaide and Perth in December 2018. He claimed 8/205 in the narrow loss in the first Test and then was named Man of the Match in the Perth victory for his 8/106.

Cummins was the next best bowler in the voting period with 36 wickets at 23.92.

Lyon is now the second specialist bowler to be named Australia’s Test Player of the Year in decade. Mitchell Starc won the award in 2017.