Melbourne, Feb.27 : Pace bowler Brett Lee and opening batsman Mathew Hayden have won the Allan Border Medal and the Test Player of the Year award for 2007.
Hayden, a Test and one-day outcast at various stages of his career, convincingly took out the limited-overs award.
Lee polled 125 votes to win the medal, 18 ahead of Hayden.
At 36, Hayden is now the reigning Australia and international one-day player of the year.
"If you think back, I spent 19 months on the sidelines carrying the drinks," Lee said of the early stages of his Test career.
"To appreciate the good times, you have to go through the bad times. It comes down to how much you want it, my dream was always to play Test cricket. Going through those hard times probably really helped me - I'm really proud now," Fox Sports quoted Lee, as saying.
Hayden echoed Lee's sentiments, saying he had to work hard to establish himself at international level.
"My whole career has been about that - it's been a struggle and a fight," Hayden said. "Like Brett said, it's been a great journey."
There was speculation Hayden might win the Border Medal ahead of Lee, because the pacer had to sit out the World Cup. But the extra weighting in the voting system towards Australia's six Tests this summer undoubtedly helped Lee.
Lee snared 40 wickets in those Tests and was named man of the series against Sri Lanka and India.
Hayden bludgeoned 1462 runs in one-dayers over the last 12 months, including a pivotal role as Australia won the World Cup for the third-straight time. But the left-hander had no problems with the Test votes having more weight towards the overall award.
"In a year when we didn't play a lot of Test cricket, it's significant that the weighting is towards (Tests)," Hayden said.
"If you asked any young cricketer what they would want to do for Australia, despite all the rally around Twenty20 cricket and one-day cricket, any young male or female (player), what they want to do is play Test cricket for their country.
"That says a lot for the fabric of the baggy green, that says a lot for the fabric of cricket and Australian culture."
Lee is the first bowler to win the medal since Glenn McGrath did so in 2000, the award's first year. That is significant, because in the last year Lee has taken over as Australia's No.1 strike bowler following McGrath's retirement.
In other awards announced, Queensland all-rounder Ashley Noffke was named the top state player.
Western Australia's Luke Pomersbach won the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award and Lisa Sthalekar was named the women's top international cricketer for the second-straight year.