The epitome of the fighting Australian, Allan Border took over the reins of the Australian cricket team when they were at their lowest ebb, and leading by force of will and example, he took them to the threshold of world-champion status.
Allan Border parlayed three shots and a fanatical zeal about not giving away his wicket into the most durable career that cricket in his time had known. At his retirement he had played in more Tests, more consecutive Tests and more Tests as captain than any other player. He held the international record for the most catches and had a batting average of 50. His underused left-arm spin once brought him 11 for 96 against the West Indies; he was an artful one-day player with a deadly arm from short midwicket. Not a natural leader, nor a man of frills, he came reluctantly to the captaincy in a dark age for Australia after Kim Hughes’ tearful resignation at Brisbane in 1984-85, but applied himself to the task with great effect. From the World Cup win in 1987 and regaining the Ashes two years later, Australia crusaded under Border until in 1993 they came within one ball of conquering the world by beating West Indies.
After he retired from Test cricket Border played in Queensland’s maiden Sheffield Shield win, coached Australia A, was named 12th man in Australia’s Team of the Century and became a selector in 1998. He resigned his post in Trevor Hohns’ panel in 2005 in favour of pursuing his media interests, but he returned a year later to assist the new chairman Andrew Hilditch. Four months later he stepped down due to expanding business commitments.
Allan Border has been inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and the Queensland Sport Hall of Fame. His outstanding service to his country, sport and community have been recognised through his Australian of the Year award in 1989 and Queenslander of the Year award in 1994. He was appointed Member of the Order of Australia in 1986 Queen’s Birthday Honours and Officer of the Order of Australia in 1989. His contribution to the game is recognised annually when the Australian Player of the Year receives the Allan Border Medal.