Voges wins Domestic Player of the Year
WA veteran rewarded for record-breaking Shield campaign that propelled him into Australia's Test team
To misuse the oft-quoted statement attributed to former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, a year is a long time in cricket.
One only has to ask Adam Voges.
Allan Border Medal coverage
- Allan Border Medallist and Test Player of the Year: David Warner
- Belinda Clark Award: Ellyse Perry
- ODI Player of the Year: Glenn Maxwell
- Domestic Player of the Year: Adam Voges
- Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year: Alex Ross
- Crown Golden Ale Red Carpet photo gallery
On Allan Border Medal night last year, the then 35-year-old – who missed the ceremony due to KFC Big Bash League duties with his Perth Scorchers – was a widely-respected and highly-successful figure in Australian domestic cricket, but a man whose dream of one day wearing the Baggy Green had seemingly passed him by.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) January 27, 2016
Tonight, not only did Voges walk the red carpet at Australian cricket's top awards night, he did so as a world record-holder, a Test double-century maker and a lynchpin of his country's middle order.
It's been quite the 12 months for the Western Australian, whose ascension to Australia's Test team had roots in a record-breaking Sheffield Shield season last summer, which was duly recognised tonight when he was named Domestic Player of the Year.
Voges is the Domestic Player of the Year // Getty Images
The fact that Voges was voted by his peers as the best state player of 2015 underlines just how dominant he was for the Warriors and Scorchers last summer.
His promotion to the Test side, which was crowned with a memorable century on debut in Dominica in June, meant he’s missed most of the current domestic season due to international duty, yet he still did enough to win 32.41 per cent of the vote, just ahead of WA teammate and fellow veteran Michael Klinger (30.56 per cent).
Voges was the fourth-highest run-scorer across Sheffield Shield, Matador Cup and BBL cricket during the January 1 to December 10 voting period with 1,232 runs, behind Klinger (1,568), Callum Ferguson (1,316) and Ben Dunk (1,245).
WATCH: Voges posts a century in Shield final
The bulk of those 1,232 runs came in the second half of that incredible Shield campaign last summer; 849 of them in just six matches, including a century in the final against Victoria and what was then a career-high of 249 against South Australia. In 11 Shield innings during that period, he was dismissed for less than 40 just twice.
WATCH: Voges posts 249 against the Redbacks
He also led the Warriors to their second successive Shield final – which they lost – and the Scorchers to their fourth straight BBL decider – which they won, allowing him to add the title of 'BBL winning captain' to that of 'Matador Cup winning captain' from earlier in the summer.
He added two more half-centuries from his brief appearances in state cricket at the start of this summer, but his feats of the season before were enough for him to join the likes of his Test coach Darren Lehmann, former Test teammate Chris Rogers and current Test ally Usman Khawaja as a winner of the Domestic Player of the Year Award.
Like the stayer Voges has been over more than a decade of state cricket, he grabbed the lead early and fought off the challengers at the post.
His 1,358-run Shield campaign, the fourth most prolific of all time, revived a Test dream that Voges himself had consigned to the realm of the unlikely.
Despite his veteran status, his form was simply too good to turn down.
Voges makes it count on Test debut
"I looked at him on four or more occasions and I thoughtm 'I don't know how anyone will get this bloke out’, he was that dominant," national selector Rod Marsh said in March upon announcing Voges's selection for the Test tours of West Indies and England.
"It wasn't just the 1300-odd runs, it was the way he made them. It was as good a Sheffield Shield batting as I have ever seen.
"Pure weight of runs, the way in which he got those runs, you could see Test player written all over him.
"(Other selectors), all the state coaches, the state talent managers ... everyone said the same thing. Surely we can't all be wrong."
And aside from a disappointing Ashes campaign, they weren't wrong.
A look at an amazing debut year for Adam Voges
Voges will head to New Zealand next month with a Test record that includes more than 1,000 runs from 13 matches, four centuries and an average of 85, dizzying numbers that have been his modus operandi for most of the past 12 months.
The high point of a dream six months in the Test arena came when he and long-time WA teammate Shaun Marsh plundered 449 runs in union against the Windies in Hobart, the highest fourth-wicket partnership in the history of the game.
Almost as important as the runs Voges has scored in his first year as a Test player has been the experience and wisdom he's brought to a side that haemorrhaged those qualities in the wake of the Ashes. So much so, he was named vice-captain for Australia’s tour of Bangladesh, an honour security concerns scuppered when the tour was postponed.
The law of averages, which hit hard against England, is sure to grab him again at some point over the next 12 months as Australia take on the Black Caps and Sri Lanka away and then South Africa and Pakistan at home.
And as Voges knows as well as anyone, a year is a long time in cricket.