The Grade Cricketer’s Ian Higgins makes joke about Michael Clarke, Karl Stefanovic to Steve Smith

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Aussie cricketers have been made to sweat in their expensive duds at the annual Cricket Awards in Melbourne.

Anyone familiar with hosts Sam Perry and Ian Higgins from the popular podcast, The Grade Cricketer, knew the night would be full of in-jokes and playful questions bordering on the awkward side.

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The pair added some much-needed flair to the otherwise straightforward event, putting big name stars on the spot as they gathered for cricket’s night of nights.

But arguably the biggest laugh of the evening came as Higgins knelt down beside Steve Smith for a quick chat about his nomination for a potential fifth Allan Border Medal.

Higgins reminded him he was equal with former skipper Michael Clarke and Ricky Ponting before slotting in the haymaker.

“This year, the winner actually gets a trip to Noosa with Karl Stefanovic, that’s exciting,” Higgins said, referencing the public feud Clarke was involved in with the TV personality last year.

Smith cracked an awkward grin, but current Aussie captain Pat Cummins couldn’t help but break out laughing as the camera shot transitioned.

Grade Cricketer co-host Sam Perry was also in hot form, questioning women’s star Ashleigh Gardener over the ICC’s apparent snubbing of Aussie stars in the recent world cricket awards.

“Even though the team has owned every trophy, the ICC snubbed all of you for individual awards a couple of weeks ago. What does the ICC have against you guys and how are you going to sustain your excellence despite this petty snubbing?”

“That’s a tough one. I think because it’s voted by the public maybe there’s some influence from around the world where Aussies clearly aren’t voting,” Gardener said.

“But I don’t know, I don’t have an answer to that.”

“Your words, not mine,” Perry said with a grin.

Perry also took a playful swipe at Mitchell Marsh, reminding him his dad, former Test cricketer Geoff, was watching on in the stands as he edged a ball just short of a hometown century in Perth against Pakistan.

Australian Cricket Awards 2024

BBL Player of the Tournament — Matt Short

Women’s Domestic Player of the Year — Sophie Day and Elyse Villani

Men’s Domestic Player of the Year — Cameron Bancroft

Betty Wilson Young Cricketer of the Year — Emma de Broughe

Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year — Fergus O’Neill

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