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Thursday, 12 May 1994
Page: 773

Senator CHAPMAN (4.00 p.m.) —As someone who, at the age of 45, is yet to be persuaded that I am too old to continue playing cricket—

Senator O'Chee —Have you put your name down for the captaincy?

Senator CHAPMAN —I might come to that later. It is certainly a great privilege for me to support the motion of tribute moved by my leader in the Senate, Senator Hill, and indeed to join in this tribute to Allan Border on his retirement, both as Australian test cricket captain and as an Australian player.

  Allan Robert Border was born on 27 July 1955 at Cremorne in New South Wales. As a child, he watched cricket and baseball being played on the Mosman Oval from the verandah of his home. Although his first-class cricket debut was made at the Sydney Cricket Ground, undoubtedly his early cricket nurturing was undertaken at the Mosman Oval, which was later renamed in his honour.

  Allan made his test debut against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground 16 years ago, in December 1978, when the Australian test team was somewhat in disarray as a result of the defection of a number of its senior players to the Packer circus known as World Series Cricket—the private cricket competition arranged by Packer. In 1980 he was lured north to Brisbane to subsequently captain the Queensland state side.

  In 1984 he took over from Kim Hughes as captain of the Australian team, again when the Australian team's performance was at a low ebb. He subsequently captained Australia for 93 tests. Under his captaincy the Australian team began a steady reversal of its fortunes, which perhaps reflects his own persistence. It won the World Cup in 1987, took the Ashes from England in 1989, and, of course, as we recall more recently, earlier this year played the first test for 20 years in South Africa, which ended in a draw.

  In February 1993 Border became the leading run scorer in test history on the second day of the first test against New Zealand at Lancaster Park during his 139th test match. Allan Border currently holds the world record for the most number of test runs—11,174 test runs at the outstanding average of 50.56. It is worth recognising that this amount of runs and this outstanding average were achieved against bowlers such as Ian Botham and Bob Willis representing England, Imran Khan from Pakistan, Kapil Dev from India, and the West Indian pace battery including Andy Roberts, Joel Garner and Curtly Ambrose.

  In addition to his spectacular batsmanship, Allan has taken 39 test wickets, with his left-arm orthodox spinners, and held 156 test catches, also a record. He also holds the world record for having played 273 one-day international cricket games. In 1990 Allan Border received the Order of Australia. In December 1993 Allan Border was the first non-retired player to have his portrait painted by artist Paul Fitzgerald, who has also painted the Pope and Her Majesty the Queen. The portrait was commissioned by the Melbourne Cricket Club after completion of Border's 150th test match.

  Awe-inspiring as these facts and figures are, they paint an inadequate picture of Allan Border. Sir Donald Bradman, the greatest cricketer the world has known, said of him, `No batsman could match Border in his stubbornness to remain at the crease.' Honesty, talent, dedication, fortitude and persistence—these are just a few of the adjectives that spring to mind when thinking of Allan Border, who has displayed extraordinary sportsmanship in spectacular service to his country. Dubbed `Captain Courageous', after rescuing Australia from numerous potential batting collapses, Allan Border has set an admirable example for young and aspiring cricketers not only Australia-wide but indeed worldwide.

  Numerous times I have been present at Adelaide Oval, which, after all, is the best cricket ground in the world, to watch with admiration and pleasure magnificent innings by Allan Border—as well as watching him on television broadcasts play on other grounds in Australia and, into the wee small hours of the morning, on overseas grounds. On many of those occasions I have perhaps wished I could have been out there with him, except that, in the words of Greg Champion, `I kept getting out.'

  Along with millions of other cricket lovers, I will miss Allan's presence both at the batting crease and in directing Australia's operations when in the field. I trust his tremendous knowledge and experience on the field will be put to the benefit of the game in some continuing activity now that he is off the field—as, indeed, was that of his predecessors such as Sir Donald Bradman, Greg Chappell and others. Or perhaps, given that in his younger days he was for a time a member of the Mosman Young Liberals, he might turn his talents to this place and provide some leadership to Australia in another way. I join in paying tribute to Allan Border. I seek leave to incorporate in Hansard statistics relating to Allan Border's test and one-day record.

  Leave granted.

  The document read as follows


Test Matches 156 (World Record)

Innings 265

Not Outs 44

Runs 11,174 (World Record)

Highest Score 205

50s 63

100s 27

Batting Average 50.56

Catches 156

Wickets 39

Runs Against 1,525

Bowling Average 39.10


Games 273 (World Record)

Runs 6,524

Highest Score 127 Not out

Strike Rate 71.13; Average 30.63

Catches 127

Wickets 73