David Warner’s transformation from problem child to consistent performer has been recognised, with the vice-captain winning his first Allan Border Medal.
Warner topped the polls at Cricket Australia’s awards night on Wednesday, tallying 240 votes to win the most-coveted prize ahead of Steve Smith (219) and Mitchell Starc (183).
The 29-year-old was also named Test player of the year, while Glenn Maxwell was crowned ODI player of the year.
Smith scored more runs than Warner over the voting period – a total of 2181 in all formats.
But there were fewer troughs in Warner’s year. For instance, he top-scored in Australia’s woeful Ashes Test losses at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge.
The silverware is the latest reminder of how far Warner has come since his career had been at the crossroads in 2013.
Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland branded Warner’s actions as “despicable” after he clocked Joe Root in a Birmingham bar that year.
“He’s making some pretty ordinary decisions … that’s not going to be tolerated any much longer,” a seething Sutherland warned at the time.
Warner shaped up instead of shipping out.
He met, then married, ironwoman Candice Falzon, with the couple recently welcoming their second child.
Warner has repeatedly credited Falzon for a new sense of maturity on the field, which has resulted in plenty of runs but also the vice-captaincy following Michael Clarke’s retirement.
“Being a parent is a great thing. It’s something I cherish every day,” Warner said in his acceptance speech for Test player of the year.
“I’m being the best person I can possibly be, on and off the field.”
The man who famously played a Twenty20 international for Australia before making his first-class debut even swore off alcohol for the duration of Falzon’s recent pregnancy.
It is the first time Warner has been honoured at the function, save for when he was named Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year in 2012.
Warner polled a maximum six votes in the third Ashes Test, two Tests against New Zealand, the recent SCG Test against the West Indies plus two ODIs in the past year.
Warner finished fifth in voting for the ODI award, which Maxwell won with 28 votes.
Starc tallied only 25 ODI votes despite being named player of the tournament in Australia’s successful 2015 World Cup campaign.
Perry caps off remarkable 2015 campaign
Ellyse Perry won her first Belinda Clark award, claiming the highest individual Australian women’s cricket honour ahead of Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning.
Perry polled 33 votes to claim the coveted prize ahead of two-time winner Lanning (20).
The all-rounder led the Southern Stars for runs and wickets in the 10-match voting period.
The 25-year-old scored 375 runs and snared 17 wickets for Australia in 2015, while she captained the Sydney Sixers in the inaugural Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) season.
“I’m living a dream job, which is wonderful,” Perry said in her acceptance speech.
“The last 12 months has been a huge highlight for myself and the team.
“Women’s cricket has definitely taken a huge number of steps forward … the WBBL recently being a watershed moment.
“More and more young girls want to play the sport. Hopefully, the more we play, the more young girls want to play.”
Meanwhile, Adam Voges finished fourth in voting for the Test player of the year but collected the domestic player of the year gong.
Voges scored a record-breaking 1358 runs for Western Australia in the 2014-15 Sheffield Shield season, culminating with a ton in the final that sealed his Test call-up at age 35.
Alex Ross was named Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year after impressing at the Adelaide Strikers and scoring five centuries for South Australia in the voting period.
There was no T20 prize awarded as Australia only played one match in 2015.
Wally Grout and Jeff Thomson were added to Cricket Australia’s Hall of Fame.
-AAP, with ABC