Allan Border's Retirement: Article from the Indian Express

Allan Border's Retirement: Article from the Indian Express

Post by Balakrishnan G Na » Sun, 12 Jun 1994 13:18:01


        SYDNEY - Allan Border's retirement from test cricket
was a media event which made even the Australian Parliment
call a temporary halt to business, but the world's most prolific
batsman himself was at a loss to understand what the fuss was
all about.

        The television reporter who got the news will probably
be a hero - for his rivals it means a loss of face. For hours,
every news bullettin was led with the biggest cricket story of
the decade, as one newspaper commentator put it.

        Both houses of parliment stopped business as polititians
of different persuations united to pay tribute to Border who
bowed out after a world record of 156 test matches in a career
spanning 16 years. Prime minister Paul Keating described Border
as an Australian legend and opposition leader John Hewson called
him a great Australian hero.

        But Border himself wonders why everyone is making a fuss
about him. He asks why an ordinary person, even if he is an
extra-ordinary cricketer who notched a phenomenal 11,174 runs in
a carrer that began with his debut against England in 1978 in
Melbourne, is a hero to his fellow countrymen.

        But cricket is not just a sport in Australia. It is a
national craze. Despite challenges from new sports, cricket is
still deeply entrenched in Australia. Wins against the Poms
(England) are savoured by the entire nation. There is hardly
a boy in the country who does not have his bat under his bed.
Even if there is no ground to play, a dustbin on the beach
would serve as a wicket. On the other end of the scale, a seat
in one of the VIP stands at the Melbourne cricket ground is
valued as much as a knighthood.

        Border, popularly known as AB, captained his country
93 times, more than any other Australian. He was not just a
highly successful cricketer. In many ways, he was a people's
cricketer, a typical Australian close to the heart of the
Australian people. Although he earned more than half a million
Dollars anually in premiums and endor***ts, it was still
easy to imagine him as the friendly next door neighbour cooking
a steak in his backyard.

        His never-say-die and no-frills attitude paired with
the occasional touch of grumpiness fits well the beloved image
of the little Aussie battler taking on the world. The recently
released song by a Melbourne band really reflects the feelings of
many Australian's: Where would we be without AB? asks the singer.
Only time will tell.

        Border despite his retirement from international cricket,
would like to play another domestic season for his home state of
Queensland. "Now that I have made the announcement of retirement
from international cricket, I would like to have a season at
least with Queensland", Border told a news conference at Brisbane.

        His departure was marred by controversy when he accused the
Australian Cricket Board(ACB) of failing to show him respect by, in
Border's view, suggesting he was indecisive. But Border played down
the dispute on Thursday.


Jeez! And I thought we Indians had a problem of idolizing our
cricketers! :) Thankfully we didnt find Remo going " Where would
we be without SMG?" or Alisha Chinoi crooning "Hum Sunny ke bina
kya karenge?"(same meaning) when Gavaskar retired  . So what did
you Aussies do when Chappell, Lillee and Marsh retired together
after the pakistan series? The funny thing is I sympathize with
Border's feelings. Even I couldnt really think of him as a Great
cricketer(though I know he is one). One rather tends to think of
him as a normal guy who achieved great things in life.

(The Debo-Nair)