Australian captain Ricky Ponting has won his second Allan Border Medal, surviving a late challenge from Michael Hussey to become the first player to win the award twice.
Ponting, the 2004 winner, polled 83 votes from players, umpires and the media, three ahead of Hussey (80), with speedster Brett Lee a further three behind on 77, while Adam Gilchrist (75) and Shane Warne (70) rounded out the top five.
Ponting followed in the footsteps of defending champion Michael Clarke by winning the award despite not winning either the Test or one-day prizes.
Those awards fell in contrasting fashions to Warne and Hussey respectively.
While the leg-spinner had his award all wrapped up well before the count was over, Hussey can thank an off-field indiscretion by Andrew Symonds for his title after the pair and Lee and Gilchrist were all tied on 22 votes.
With Symonds ineligible for the award, Hussey won on count-back from Lee and Gilchrist, capping off a memorable summer which has seen him compile three centuries from his first five Tests.
In other awards presented on the night, New South Wales opener Phil Jaques was crowned State Player of the Year, Daniel Cullen was named Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year and Karen Rolton was hailed Best Women's Player of the Year for the fourth time in five years.