IF you had told Adam Voges 12 months ago what the year ahead of him entailed, he would not have believed it.
Despite remaining supremely confident in his abilities as a first-class cricketer, Voges thought his chance at playing Test cricket might have passed as he approached turning 35.
Instead, the Warnbro-raised Western Warriors captain had the season of his career in 2014-15; he led his team to victory in the domestic one-day Matador Cup and Perth Scorchers to a second Big Bash League title, played in a Sheffield Shield final and scored more runs in a Sheffield Shield season than any other WA batsman (1358 runs at an average of 104.46).
It culminated in a long-overdue call up as one of the specialist batsmen on the Australian West Indies and Ashes Test tours – a reasonable achievement for a player first selected to represent his country as a leg spinner.
“I was picked for the Australian under 19s as a leggie who batted at eight,” Voges told the Courier.
“I started playing organised cricket for Warnbro (Swans) at 10 and I still have memories of playing back then, like having to retire at 25; I can still remember how great it felt to get to 25 for the first time.
“I wasn’t a batsman; when I was 15 I was playing as a leg spinner and dudding around at 8 or 9 in the batting.
“It was only at 20 that batting became my prime focus. I even got my first WA rookie contract as a spin bowler who could bat a little.”
From the grounds at Warnbro Sports Complex to the dusty pitch of Windsor Park in Dominica, where he scored a century and was named man of the match on Test debut, via grade cricket and the WACA, Voges’ childhood still holds a special place.
Recalling the time spent growing up on local cricket fields and the beach, the lifestyle is the thing that sticks most in the memory and he regularly indulges when he can, with his parents and siblings, and his wife Kristy’s family, all in Warnbro.
“My family and my in-laws all live within about a kilometre of each other – my brother Ben is still involved with the footy club, he’s always down there – so we’re often down with all of them, catching up regularly when we can,” he said.
“There are worse places in the world to have grown up; I grew up near the Warnbro recreation centre and spent a big part of my time there playing cricket or footy, or at the beach.”