Sport

Alex Ross had an eye on Bradman Young Cricketer prize a year ago

A year ago, Alex Ross thought the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year award was a "great prize" as he watched the Allan Border Medal on television and then on Wednesday night he knew he had it won before it was even presented.

While he would love to represent his country at the upcoming Twenty20 World Cup, Ross was back training with South Australia on Thursday with his eyes on helping the Redbacks win the Sheffield Shield for the first time since 1996.

Winner: Alex Ross set himself for the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year Award when watching the Allan Border Medal a ...
Winner: Alex Ross set himself for the Bradman Young Cricketer of the Year Award when watching the Allan Border Medal a year ago. Photo: Robert Cianflone

Ross had such an impressive Big Bash League campaign with the Adelaide Strikers, Australian selector Mark Waugh said he could be a T20 World Cup bolter and former Aussie swing bowler Damien Fleming nicknamed him the "sweepologist".

That followed on from a strong first half of the Sheffield Shield, where the Redbacks currently sit second on the ladder, and an impressive one-day domestic campaign.

The four-day form of the game resumes on Wednesday, with SA playing Queensland at Adelaide Oval.

Ross said he had taken note he was still eligible for the Bradman award a year ago.

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"They had to give me warning so I could make sure that I was going to be there and I didn't see any of the other candidates there so I had a pretty good inkling," he said.

"It was actually something I looked at when the winner won it last year and I thought, 'That's a great prize' and you look back at the list of recipients and it is a really strong list."

There was no big party for Ross, knowing he had to return to Adelaide for training.

While Waugh named him as a potential World Cup bolter, Ross was not named in the Australian squad that is currently playing three T20s against India.

The World Cup squad is yet to be named, but Ross is not worrying about whether his name will be called out.

His only focus was on the Shield, which SA have not won since Jamie Siddons captained the Redbacks to a nail-biting victory over Western Australia at Adelaide Oval 20 years ago.

"I guess [playing for Australia] is always the carrot at the end of the stick. That stuff comes if you keep putting performances on the board," Ross said.

"The T20's over for the year, but it'd be an amazing experience to be even close to being mentioned in that squad.

"My eyes aren't really on it because we've got all these Shield games coming up, but it'd be an awesome surprise if it did come."

After spending a lot of his childhood in New Zealand, Ross studied years 10 and 11 in Canberra.

He played for the Comets at under-15, under-17 and under-19 level, while also moving to Adelaide six years ago.

Ross said current ACT Meteors coach Andrew Dawson had played a role in his development, as had Comets assistant coach Kyle Piper.

He credited Siddons, now the Redbacks coach, for playing a major role in his breakout year.

"In particular this year there's just a couple of technical things I've been working on that haven't been huge changes, but have just helped my game a little bit," Ross said.

"Also just having Jamie Siddons along has been brilliant for us. It's freed me up a little bit in the way that I've played and given me the confidence to know that spot's mine for the taking and no one's really after it."