Oz opener Hughes becomes youngest to win Steve Waugh Medal

Oz opener Hughes becomes youngest to win Steve Waugh MedalSydney, Apr. 4 : Australian opener Phillip Hughes has become the youngest player ever to win the prestigious Steve Waugh Medal.

Hughes received the coveted gong for being New South Wale''s most outstanding cricketer this summer.

The 20-year-old made it a one-horse race with 231 votes - 72 votes clear of his nearest rival, fast bowler Aaron Bird.

Hughes, who had plenty of punters wondering if he could emulate his whirlwind rookie season, blasted 891 runs in the Sheffield Shield, including four centuries, which paved the way for his Australian call-up.

Only last month Hughes destroyed South Africa on debut for the Aussies with 415 runs in three Tests at an average of 69.16. He will fly out for Middlesex on April 15 and adjust to the English wickets ahead of the Ashes.

Hughes will open the batting with last year''s Steve Waugh Medal winner, Simon Katich, for the series against the Poms.

Cricket NSW chief executive David Gilbert said Hughes had been one of the few feel-good stories for the Blues, who finished with the wooden spoon in both the Sheffield Shield and Ford Ranger Cup.

"In a disappointing season Phillip was a real standout," Gilbert said.

"It''s a real testament to his character to achieve what he has at only 20 years of age."

Mark Taylor, who was inducted into the Cricket NSW Hall of Fame last night, said of Hughes: "He''s been a real revelation in his first couple of games (for Australia).

"To me this shows the brilliance of youth. Whether Phillip Hughes will have a long and illustrious career I wouldn''t want to speculate. But what he shows is the value of young players."

Leah Poulton won the Belinda Clark Medal, Nathan Hauritz collected the Ford Ranger Cup award while Doug Bollinger scraped in by one vote to collect the Twenty20 player of the year. (ANI)