Allan Border Medal: Warner savours top awards as reward for turning career, life around

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Honourable: Joe Burns, Usman Khawaja and David Warner arrive at the 2016 Allan Border Medal ceremony at Crown Palladium. Photo: Zak KaczmarekDavid Warner says winning the top two awards at the Allan Border Medal is further vindication of the work he has put in over the past two and a half years to turn his career and and life around after some high-profile stumbles.

The result for Warner, winning Australian cricket’s top individual awards ahead of Steve Smith, completes a momentous five-month period that began with his elevation to vice-captain of the Test and one-day teams.

While Warner only only has another two days in Australia before flying to New Zealand for the looming series, he said he’d divert from his normal practice to “let it all sink in, and tell myself you’re actually doing a very, very good job”.

“It’s something that a lot of people who know me [will know] I don’t actually do often … try and applaud myself for things I’ve done. In the past two or three years I really have turned the corner, and it’s something I’m really, really proud of,” Warner said, after winning the Allan Border Medal and Test Player of the Year awards for the first time.

“I wouldn’t ever have regrets about the past. You have to learn somehow and in some way, and I’ve learned my lesson. From now, it’s onwards and upwards and still trying to be the best I can … on and off the field.”

The 29-year-old praised his wife Candice for helping to “pull my head out of my backside”, and become more disciplined.

“I owe a lot of credit to her for keeping me on that straight and narrow,” he said.

Warner also credited much of his revival, since being stood down from the start of the 2013 Ashes for disciplinary reasons, to fitness trainer Wayne Geber.

He started the home Test season superbly, scoring two centuries and a double-century against the Black Caps. A punishing regime of running and sprint training while sidelined with a fractured thumb after the Ashes provided a solid base for success.

“It was either sit on the couch and moan about my broken thumb or do something about it,” he said.

“That’s something that really held me in good stead for this summer … I thought I had to be really hungry to score and start well given the lots of half-centuries in England. Missing out in the first innings made me really hungry and determined to try and switch back on, score big runs and start the summer well.”

Warner maintained his primary focus was not individual success, but team success. If Australia can win next month’s two-Test series in New Zealand they will snare the No.1 Test ranking – and the $1 million prizemoney that goes with it.

The other men to win awards were Glenn Maxwell as One-Day Player of the Year, Adam Voges as Domestic Player of the Year and South Australia batsman Alex Ross as the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year.

The top women’s award, the Belinda Clark Medal, was snared for the first time by Ellyse Perry, ending the two-year streak of Southern Stars captain Meg Lanning.

Perry, 25, was particularly appreciative for the influence of her father Mark, who she said had taught her to play from when she was about six, “and still helps me out to this day”.

The all-rounder led Australia for runs and wickets in the period. She said she was proud of her emergence in the batting ranks, having been given a No.4 berth in all formats, but it had not come at the expense of her fast-bowling prowess.

“It was really nice to have success with the ball and more opportunity with the bat, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed as well,” she said.

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