David Andrew Warner. A cricketer who’d never played a first-class game when chosen to play T20 cricket for his country, then one-day cricket –and finally Test matches.
She’s one of Australia’s most recognisable sports identities but Ellyse Perry remains as modest as ever about her achievements.
Perry averaged 70.20 with the bat and 25.90 with the ball during Australia’s successful defence of the Ashes.
She won the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) title with the Sydney Sixers and was voted the women’s player of the year at the Allan Border Medal.
What’s more, she’s the international player of the year and is also at the top of the women’s ICC ODI batting and all-rounder rankings.
“It’s always nice to have those accolades but that list chops and changes very regularly and you certainly can’t control what anyone else is doing and the way that they’re playing,” Perry told The Roar.
“What’s really important is that number 1 ranking as a team across all three formats and we don’t quite have that at the moment so that’s a real challenge for us in the next 12 months.”
It was almost two years since the Australian team had played a Test match and Perry made the most of it with an incredible 213 not out at North Sydney Oval in November.
It was one of the highlights of the summer in both the men’s and women’s game.
Perry downplayed the importance of the innings and pointed out that the pitch was made for batting. The 27-year-old was more excited by the Test itself and what it meant for the future of the game.
“The amount of people who came down across those four days or watched it on the live stream and then the interest in the match itself across the media was just brilliant,” she said.
“It gave a revival to women’s Test cricket and the first ever day-night Test match too. There were just lots of special things about it.”
Women’s Test cricket is rare, but Perry hopes the North Sydney match proves to the powers that be that the four-day fixtures are viable.
“What I’d love to see is that we’d play similar formats against all nations so it’s not just England that we’re playing Test matches against.”
As well as being an all-rounder, Perry knows a thing or two about having different skills.
She famously played for the Matildas and the Australian cricket team at the same time but the increase in professionalism mean those days appear to have come to an end.
“It’s not quite true that I had to make a choice (between sports),” she said.
“Essentially, both sports have grown so much and developed so much in the last couple of years that they really demand people to be full-time professional athletes.”
“So in that sense, it just naturally occurred that I ended up cricket and haven’t played any football recently. I truly enjoyed my time playing football.”
After Australia’s current tour to India, Perry is looking forward to taking some time off to enjoy watching her other favourite sport on television.
Perry recently signed on as an ambassador for Hisense, the official television for the FIFA World Cup.
“It’s been really nice to come on board with Hisense, it’s going to be a great competition.”
“I think the Socceroos will do well to get out of the group – they’ve got a tough group. It just depends on how the new manager is able to get them to gel and the style of football they play.”
“I have fond memories of watching back home in 2006. Certainly one of the best Socceroos’ performances when Tim Cahill announced himself.”
As well as the Socceroos, Perry still follows the Matildas closely and believes the success of women’s team has helped in the revolution of female sport in Australia.
With women’s sport more marketable than it’s ever been, Perry is excited about the prospect of competitions like the WBBL becoming standalone fixtures.
“It’s important to continue to build a solid foundation and make it commercially viable,” she said.