Australian Cricket Awards
Ellyse Perry wins her third Belinda Clark Award
Australia's star allrounder Ellyse Perry caps a sensational year to collect the Belinda Clark Award as the premier player across formats
10 February 2020, 11:04 PM AEST
Ellyse Perry has claimed her third Belinda Clark Award, capping off a dominant 12-month period that saw the superstar allrounder continue to smash records and break new ground.
Having previously won the award in 2016 and 2018, Perry was honoured at the Australian Cricket Awards in Melbourne on Monday night, capping off a 2019 that also saw her named the ICC's Cricketer of the Year.
The 29-year-old polled 161 votes to take out the award ahead of last year's winner Alyssa Healy (153) – who won the ODI and T20I Player of the Year awards – with left-arm spinner Jess Jonassen (87) the next highest vote getter.
In the one Test, 12 ODIs and nine T20Is Australia played last year, Perry scored 783 runs at 97.87, including three centuries, while with the ball she collected 28 wickets at 16.50.
Nothing brings out the best in Perry like an Ashes series – her Belinda Clark Award wins in 2016 and 2018 also following multi-format contests against the old enemy – and her outstanding campaign in the United Kingdom last July ensured the trophy stayed in Australian hands.
Australia were a dominant force that took almost all before them in the points-based Ashes, dropping a sole T20I across the seven-game series, and every step of the way, Perry was there imposing herself on proceedings.
She topped the run scorers, with 378 runs at 94.50, and was the series' most prolific wicket-taker, with 15 scalps at 12.86.
In the ODI leg, Perry tore through England in Canterbury to claim 7-22, the best-ever one-day figures by an Australian woman.
In the one-off Test in Taunton, the allrounder's love of red-ball cricket shone through as she compiled her second Test century, a knock of 116 in the first innings, backing it up with an unbeaten 76 in her second dig.
And in the T20Is, Perry again starred, smacking a career-best 60no in Bristol.
But it wasn't only in the UK that Perry broke new ground in 2019.
In Australia's first series of the year, a three-match ODI contest against New Zealand on home soil, Perry scored her first one-day hundred at Adelaide's Karen Rolton Oval, battling stifling conditions in her unbeaten 107 from 110 deliveries.
The sweltering heat would have left lesser athletes struggling come Australia's fielding innings. Not Perry, who took the new ball and bowled New Zealand opener Suzie Bates.
Then, in Antigua in September, Perry posted her second ODI ton, a brilliant 112no from 118 deliveries that again came in oppressive conditions at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, with the intense heat and humidity forcing teammate Beth Mooney to retire on 56 during the same match.
And again, Perry took the new ball, striking with her ninth delivery.
Since making her international debut aged 16 in 2007, Perry has demonstrated a remarkable ability to constantly improve – and her national coach Matthew Mott believes her hunger to get the best out of herself will see that trend continue.
"She just keeps getting better and better," Mott said in Melbourne last Friday, where Australia are currently competing in the ongoing CommBank T20I Tri-Series.
"When you see her training and her work ethic in and around games, she's so diligent with her recovery, everything she does is about trying to get better.
"She's as hungry as she's ever been.
"I think she now sees the game and how it has evolved so quickly and she wants to adapt and change and get ahead of that game, and I think that's been the really pleasing thing.
"She could have just continued doing what she's doing and been a great player, but she wants to get better and stay ahead of that pack."
Perry's third Belinda Clark Award sees her join elite company with her captain Meg Lanning as three-time winners, while Karen Rolton and Shelley Nitschke lead the pack with four wins apiece.
But while Perry continues to rack up personal achievements, milestones and awards, the allrounder is famously far more interested in team success and silverware.
She has been part of five World Cup wins with Australia – the 2013 ODI event and the 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2018 T20I tournaments – and was also part of the dismal home 2009 ODI World Cup campaign, that saw Australia lose the third-place play-off after heading into the tournament as favourites.
Eleven years later, she and her Australian teammates are again preparing for an ICC event on home soil, the 2020 T20 World Cup beginning February 21.
And while Perry wrote another chapter into what's already a remarkable career on Monday evening, there is little doubt her mind is on a much bigger prize, one that will be on offer at the MCG on International Women's Day on March 8.
Belinda Clark Award
Ellyse Perry (161 votes)
Alyssa Healy (153)
Jess Jonassen (87)