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Thursday, 12 May 1994
Page: 771

Senator FAULKNER (Minister for the Environment, Sport and Territories) (3.48 p.m.) —It certainly gives me a great deal of pleasure, as Australia's minister for sport, to pay tribute to one of Australia's greatest ever cricketers, Allan Border, who, of course, announced his retirement from test cricket yesterday. His achievements in test cricket have been absolutely remarkable: a record 156 test matches, 154 of which were consecutive, and a record 93 as the Australian test captain; and a record 11,174 runs at an average of 50.56. He made 27 centuries and 63 half centuries. He took a record total of 156 catches, and he took 39 test wickets at an average of 39.1. In addition, he holds the world record for one-day international appearances, of 273, in which he made 6,524 runs with a highest score of 127 not out.

  He became captain of the Australian test team during the 1984-85 series against the West Indies. Since that time he has taken the Australian team to some of its most significant series wins, in particular the memorable 1989 regaining of the Ashes in England.

  It is also remarkable to consider that only one current test player—David Boon—has ever played under a different Australian captain. That is an excellent illustration of the ongoing importance to Australian cricket of Allan Border's career. Tributes have been flowing in from across the cricket world and throughout Australia to Allan Border. However, I think that the tribute paid by Australia's greatest ever player, Sir Donald Bradman, was particularly significant. Bradman said:

Allan Border has given very long and distinguished service to Australian cricket and every one will wish him well in his retirement. Few people, if any, have graced the stage for as long as Allan and he can look back with pride. I hope now that he will turn his attention to administration, where his assistance would be invaluable.

I feel privileged that I was able to witness Allan Border play every one of his test matches in Sydney, except for the 1992-93 series match against the West Indies. Regrettably, Allan Border has never made a test century at the Sydney Cricket Ground. However, I personally saw him score in excess of 1,000 test runs and take, I think, 14 of his 39 test wickets at the Sydney Cricket Ground. These performances included his memorable effort against the West Indies in that great Australian victory in 1989 when he took 11 wickets in that test match.

  Allan Border will be remembered in many countries around the world, particularly on the subcontinent where he led many tours to India and Pakistan and, of course, to Sri Lanka. He may well be the best-known Australian on the subcontinent. Unlike many of his English test captain counterparts, he never shirked his duty on the subcontinent.

  Allan Border will be remembered by many thousands of Australians for his outstanding efforts on the cricket field. During his career he has embodied all the fighting spirit and admirable qualities of Australian character. Perhaps even more significant than his unparalleled sporting record is the fact that Allan Border leaves Australian test cricket with a long list of very good players queuing to get into our national team and at a time when there is genuinely a resurgence of interest in cricket amongst Australia's young men and women.

  I am sure that I speak on behalf of all Australians in thanking Allan Border for the memories. I most sincerely wish him and his family all the very best for the future.