As a cricketer, Ellyse Perry is patient, composed, not a flashy slugger willing to take cheap shots. As a person, the 27-year-old Sydneysider is pretty much the same, which made her a gold-plated inspiration in the year women’s sport scored big audiences and respect. After debuting at age 16 on both the national cricket and soccer sides Perry now focuses on bat and ball, her one day form and stunning unbeaten 213 in a 2017 Ashes Test propelling her to win the inaugural ICC’s Women’s Cricketer of the Year award in December. But while she’s an international role model on field and off, Perry – married to Wallabies powerhouse Matt Toomua since 2015– is also only human. “I’m a terrible dancer,” she tells The New Daily. “And a terrible singer.”
Are you always first picked for backyard cricket?
I’d probably try to avoid it these days, but we used to play a lot when we were kids. My Dad or my brother would be first pick, to be honest.
Is it true you’re a ‘sports nerd’ who loves training?
You always get the most out of matches and the thrill out of playing but I really enjoy the challenge of training and pushing myself. I probably am a bit of a nerd, but it’s just the way that I approach what I’m doing.
An exercise you hate?
I’m not really fond of burpees.
As a role model, can you still go out and cut loose?
I don’t think it plays on my mind at all. The most important thing is that you’re genuine to yourself, and also to other people. I kind of just am who I am and I’ll be conscious about doing the right thing by other people and people that have given me fantastic opportunities. I’ve got the easiest job, and that’s just to go out and play sport and have fun doing it. Partying and that kind of thing isn’t something I’m massive about.
What is it about you that fans and marketers love?
What’s really attractive about a lot of female athletes at the moment is what you see is very much what you get. They’re very genuine and quite raw because they haven’t been living in a professional sporting world for all that long. None of it is highly manicured. Girls are very much themselves and often speak their mind in a matter that’s respectful. There’s probably a level of groundedness there because they appreciate where they’ve come from.
Your hidden talent?
I like parking cars and I’m okay at it. Any kind of parking, tight spaces, reverse parking, anything really, big cars, small cars. There’s no real technique. I just enjoy the challenge.
What are you and Matt planning for 2018?
We don’t have anything planned yet. Matt is based in the UK at the moment so we always try to make the most out of any time we get off to explore different parts of Europe. We’d also like to go to New York at some point.
From A-list stars to politicians and athletes, we’ve named the 13 Australians who made headlines and sparked conversations – both heated and admiring – across the nation in 2017. Some covered themselves in glory. Some created controversy. Some made reputations, others lost them. From the cricket arena to the same sex marriage battlefield, regardless of whether they were beloved or booed, their personal and professional wins and downfalls had us talking over dinner tables and media channels.