The Midwinter-Midwinter is the @rickeyrecricket BoG (Best on Ground) award given for the most valuable player of each Ashes Test series.
There is no physical award as such, and the Midwinter-Midwinter is not endorsed by any cricket board, advertising agency or anti-doping authority. But most importantly, it’s not the Compton-Miller Medal.
Points are awarded for the best three players on each day of a Test match in the series, on a 3-2-1 basis. This is an idea I nicked from the channel 7 commentary team of the mid-1970s which included the likes of Richie Benaud, Doug Ring and Bill Lawry.
On days when the equivalent of two or less sessions of play take place (due to weather or any early finish), I give awards of 2 pts and 1 point. Where the equivalent of less than one session is played (normally ~30 overs), one player receives 1 point only.
A rule tweak from 2019: if an entire innings is played on a day when less than ~60 overs are bowled I still give a full set of points (3/2/1).
The Midwinter-Midwinter is named for Billy Midwinter (1851-1890), the only person to have played Test cricket for both Australia and England in Test matches against each other.
Midwinter played for Australia in the very first Test match in 1877 but on June 20 1878, as he was preparing to play for the touring Australians against Middlesex at Lord’s, he was sensationally kidnapped by Dr WG Grace and driven across London to The Oval to play with Grace’s team Gloucestershire.
Midwinter went on to play four Tests for England before emigrating back to Australia and concluding his twelve-match Test career for them. No one else has played Test cricket for one country, then another, and then for his original country (although some have done so in one-day internationals and Tests for Ireland and England in recent years).
I instituted the Midwinter-Midwinter in 2005 and it continued until 2010-11, being reinstated in 2017-18. Similar awards have been made for Australia-South Africa home/away Tests (the Wessels-Kepler in 2009), Australia-India Tests (the BGBoG in 2011-12 and 2017) and the Australia-England-India ODI triseries of 2015 (for the Giles-Wally-N).
Past winners of the Midwinter-Midwinter are:
2005: Shane Warne
2006-07: Shane Warne
2009: Graeme Swann
2010-11: Alastair Cook and James Anderson (tie)
2017-18: Steve Smith
2019: Steve Smith
2021-22: Mitchell Starc
Other winners calculated retrospectively have been:
1990-91: David Boon and Bruce Reid (tie); 1993: Shane Warne; 1994-95: Craig McDermott; 1997: Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne (tie); 1998-99: Stuart MacGill; 2001: Glenn McGrath; 2002-03: Glenn McGrath.
2013 and 2013-14 combined (#worldashesyear, 10 Tests): Chris Rogers;
2015: Mitchell Johnson.