28 Jan 2016

Warner picks up player of the year award

5:43 am on 28 January 2016

David Warner thanked wife Candice Falzon for helping salvage a cricket career at the crossroads after winning his first Allan Border Medal for the Australian cricketer of the year.

David Warner

David Warner Photo: PHOTO NZ

Warner topped the polls 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.

Warner was full of praise for Falzon in his acceptance speech.

"Candice, you're my rock. I love you to death and I probably wouldn't be playing cricket today without you," he said.

The accolade is the latest reminder of how far Warner has come in two-and-a-half years.

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

"He's making some pretty ordinary decisions ... that's not going to be tolerated any much longer," a seething Sutherland warned at the time.

Now Warner is vice-captain of Australia and one of the side's most-important players.

The maturity has come courtesy of ironwoman Falzon, with the couple recently welcoming their second child.

"She really nailed into my head ... about being disciplined. I owe a lot of credit to her for keeping me on the straight and narrow," he told reporters.

"She was up at 4am in the morning and I was still in bed ... (before he started to) really train hard.

"Candice told me to keep believing ... keep being disciplined.

"You have to learn somehow in some way. I've learnt my lesson.

"The last two to three years, I really have turned the corner and that's something I'm really proud of."

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.

Warner could be forgiven for having a couple of drinks at the 17th Allan Border Medal.

"David Warner's had a fantastic year," Smith said during the count.

Warner admitted he was shocked 2015 winner Smith didn't collect the top award again.

"I was real nervous. I couldn't believe that I got across the line," he said.

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.

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.

Starc tallied only 25 ODI votes, three less than Maxwell, despite being named player of the tournament in Australia's successful 2015 World Cup campaign.

There was no T20 prize awarded as Australia only played one match in 2015.