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Team man Warner wants to be a mentor

Cricket

David Warner has learned from mistakes in the past and now the Allan Border medallist wants to stop young teammates from making them in the first place.

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Warner’s transformation from problem child to consistent performer was recognised last night when he upstaged captain Steve Smith to snare the top prize at Cricket Australia’s awards.

Australia’s vice-captain was elated with the gong but highlighted the challenges ahead – starting with the upcoming tour of New Zealand.

That series in February will determine whether Warner’s side regain the No.1 Test ranking.

“It’s about team goals,” he told reporters after tallying 240 votes to pip Smith’s 219.

However, the 29-year-old also spoke of his long-term desire to leave a legacy behind when he does decide to retire.

“That’s something I really want to do. I really want to help a lot of the guys come through,” Warner said.

“I always talk to the young guys about trying to learn your game as fast as possible and while you’re still young.

“And try not to go down the avenues I did – and sort of [lost] my way a little bit.”

Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland branded Warner’s actions as “despicable” in 2013 after the opener clocked Joe Root in a Birmingham bar.

Warner met ironwoman Candice Falzon later that year, becoming more settled off the park and fitter on the field.

The left-hander is not a man for regrets.

But he highlighted the fact he didn’t work hard enough and didn’t listen nearly enough until wife Falzon helped turn things around.

Of the potential that went untapped for so long, Warner said: “I always sit back here and go ‘if I did listen, what could I have been today – right now?’

“It’s easy for me to say that to them… I had the advice when I was a youngster as well.

“In one ear, out the other ear. I just thought ‘Yep, ok, it’s just the same old’… I should have listened.”

Warner admitted there was one milestone he was desperate to tick off before retiring, the 14 century partnerships that Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer shared at the top of the Test order.

“Fingers crossed me and Joe Burns can have that in our sights,” he said.

“That’s a lot of cricket we’re going to have to play together and a lot of runs we’re going to have to pile on. We’re going to have to perform a lot.”

Ellyse Perry won her first Belinda Clark award, having starred in Australia’s successful women’s Ashes campaign.

Perry polled 33 votes to claim the coveted prize ahead of two-time winner Meg Lanning (20).

The allrounder led the Southern Stars for runs and wickets in the 10-match voting period.

“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.”

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 season.

-AAP

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