The fast-paced rise of Western Australia quick Jhye Richardson to international cricket has also earned him the prestigious honour of Bradman Young Men’s Cricketer of the Year.
Richardson, who made his ODI debut at the Gabba last month and is part of the 15-man squad for the Qantas Tour of South Africa that gets underway in coming weeks, adds his name to a prestigious list in accepting the award at tonight’s Allan Border Medal presentation at Melbourne’s Crown Casino.
The lightly built 21-year-old, who routinely delivers the ball in excess of 145km/h, was deemed by his peers to be the brightest talent aged 24 or less and who had played 10 or fewer first-class (or 25 or less List-A and BBL games) during the 12-month voting period from 10 December 2016 to 7 December 2017.
His return of 43 wickets at an average of 25.28 for Alcohol. Think Again Western Warriors and the Perth Scorchers was significantly better than the next-best bowler in the category (Tasmania’s Gabe Bell with 25 at 22 apieece).
He was also deemed by his rivals – players cannot vote for state teammates although they can nominate those in their BBL franchise provided they do not play for the same state association – ahead of South Australia and Adelaide Strikers opener Jake Weatherald and Tasmania’s and Hobart Hurricanes’ Ben McDermott.
Richardson, who upon his ODI selection last month acknowledged that he has been told repeatedly through his junior career that he was too slight and too short to be a genuine fast-bowling threat, joins a select group of players to earn the Bradman Award since it was first presented in 2000.
That list includes Test-capped Brett Lee (2000), Shane Watson (2002), Shaun Tait (2004), Ben Hilfenhaus (2007), the late Phillip Hughes (2009), David Warner (2012) and Joe Burns (2013).
While Richardson was selected for Australia’s T20I outfit last summer as a 20-year-old, it was during a JLT Sheffield Shield match against New South Wales at Hurstville Oval last November that he pushed his case for selection in the longer form.
When, according to the speed gun mounted at the ground, he consistently produced higher speeds than Test quicks Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood.
"It's a question I get asked a lot actually (about my speed) and I don't really know what to tell people," Richardson said when called up to Australia’s ODI squad last month.
"It's always something in your head you always want to prove people wrong and I think that's been my attitude from the start, if someone is going to beat me down, why not prove them wrong.
"I think just a combination of having the right rhythm and having the right body parts going in the right direction.
"Having a front leg that's locked, being able to get my weight over my front leg is probably the main one that I think contributes to me being able to bowl fast."