The nation’s favourite slugger will instead put his feet up at home in Sydney before embarking on arguably the toughest challenge in world Test cricket – facing India in the subcontinent.
“I’m flying on the fifth [of February] so I’ve got a bit of time at home which is great,” Warner said after last night becoming the fourth player to win consecutive Border medals.
How Warner might spend his time off:
After another stellar year with the willow – this time dominating cricket’s one-day arena with a season-high 1388 runs – Warner revealed his mind and body had begun to tire.
He said he needed a mental freshener.
“Not that I would’ve not gone out there and given 100 per cent, but I felt especially the first two one-dayers this series with Pakistan, my feet weren’t moving,” he said.
“Sometimes they don’t move at all, but they were just quite fatigued. We’re running ragged in the outfield, we’re giving everything we can, and I’ve run as hard as I can for every ball.
“It doesn’t matter where it is. I’m always trying to compete against that ball and stop it from going to he boundary. That does take its toll.
“I’m grateful that Cricket Australia allowed me to get over some little niggles and having a little bit of rest at home to get me ready for India and there’s no excuses there.”
The 30-year-old joined a select group of players to pocket successive Border medals in the award’s 16-year history, including Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke and Shane Watson.
It is yet another milestone for the Australian vice-captain, who has emerged as a vital leader in an evolving Test side.
He pinpointed Australia’s series defeat to Sri Lanka as a turning point last season.
“I probably threw the toys out of the cot in Sri Lanka. I learnt a lot about myself in Sri Lanka and that helped me coming towards this summer,” he said.
“You look at the last couple of games against Pakistan, I really nailed it. To be in this form in the one-day cricket and now Test matches, leading into India, it’s a great thing for myself personally and for us as a team.”
The opener again held off his skipper after his 269 votes – logged by his fellow players, umpires and media – edged out Smith (248) and Mitchell Starc (197).
The Australian vice-captain also bagged the ODI award, while Starc was crowned Test player of the year and Shane Watson named the country’s best in the Twenty20 format.
Meg Lanning took out the Belinda Clark honour for the third time.
Remarkably, Warner hadn’t scored a Test ton until the second last match of the voting period – from 8 January 2016 to 7 January this year – breaking his drought with consecutive hundreds against Pakistan in Melbourne and Sydney.
But the majority of his votes undoubtedly came from his feats in the coloured kits, where he pummelled seven of his nine calendar centuries at an average of 63.
His ODI 1388 runs was a world-high, and 200 more than next best Smith.
Warner scored 2420 runs in total across all three formats, the highlight innings of which was a historic hundred before lunch on the first day against Pakistan at the SCG.
In the same Test match, he blasted the fastest Australian half-century, off 23 balls.
His ODI gong means he becomes just the sixth player to have won all three major awards – the Border, Test and ODI – joining Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, Ponting, Watson and Smith.
Starc became the first bowler to claim the Test player of the year since Brett Lee in 2008 after taking a total 52 wickets – fourth most across the world over the voting period.
Lanning took out the women’s highest cricketing honour after registering 1100 runs for the Southern Stars, beating contender Elysse Perry by eight votes.
“Women’s cricket has improved a lot over the past five years, not only in the standard of play, but also in the coverage,” she said.
“Our games have been televised on Channel Ten this year on the Big Bash and Channel Nine are doing international games.
“It’s certainly an exciting time for women’s cricket, young girls coming through have got so many opportunities now to get involved and it’s great that we’re able to lead the way.”
Cameron White won the men’s domestic player of the year prize, while Hilton Cartwright was named Bradman young cricketer of the year.
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