Johnson bowls over Sports Star award

Dale Miller

Mitchell Johnson's return as a force in world cricket was capped off when the fiery fast bowler was named The West Australian-ANZ Sports Star of the Year tonight.

On the eve of taking the field against India in the first Test at Adelaide Oval, Johnson's extraordinary year was celebrated in Perth in being recognised as WA's most outstanding athlete of the past 12 months.

The 33-year-old was crowned the winner at Crown Perth's Grand Ballroom for his heroics in last summer's 5-0 Ashes whitewash and in leading Australia to a 2-1 series victory in South Africa that briefly returned them to the lofty status as the world's No.1 Test nation.

His return as the nation's leading bowler yielded 59 wickets at an average of 15.23.

Johnson edged out Formula One ace Daniel Ricciardo for the gong in one of the closest rulings in Sports Star history.

Ricciardo, 25, could have easily claimed the title after winning three grands prix and recording eight podium finishes in his first season at Red Bull.

Brownlow medallist Matt Priddis and national javelin record holder and Commonwealth Games champion Kim Mickle were among the other finalists in a strong field.

Golfing ace Minjee Lee claimed the Railtrain Junior Sports Star of the Year award on a day when she secured her US LPGA card for next year with a strong final qualifying round in Florida.

The 18-year-old assumed the mantle of the world's No.1 amateur in February before turning professional three months ago.

Lee's coach Ritchie Smith and Warriors figurehead Justin Langer were pipped to the KPMG coach of the year honour by Ric Charlesworth, who called time on his celebrated hockey career in June after masterminding the Kookaburras' triumphant World Cup campaign.

The impressive year of track cyclist Sam Welsford was also recognised with the 6PR 882 Special Achievement award.

The Perth Wildcats were named Channel 7 Team of the Year after winning a record sixth NBL title, while hockey's Melissa Trivic was the Slater & Gordon Lawyers Official of the Year.