Australia’s former World Cup-winning captain Michael Clarke was appointed in the Order of Australia on Monday, joining iconic ex-skippers like Allan Border and Steve Waugh who have also been awarded national recognition. Clarke, who led the Australian side to the 2015 World Cup victory has been appointed An Officer (AO) in the general division of the Order of Australia, an honor for achievement or meritorious service.
Reacting to the news, elated Clarke said, “To be honest, I thought it was an April fool’s prank in June. Very surprised but in the same breath very honoured.”
Other former Aussie captains to receive this recognition include Ricky Ponting, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Allan Border, and Bob Simpson. Clarke has been awarded for “distinguished service to cricket as a player at the national and international level, through leadership roles, and to the community”.
When the former Aussie skipper was quizzed about how cricket will emerge post COVID-19 crises, he sounded upbeat. Clarke said, “I believe cricket is big part of this country’s culture, like all sports but cricket is the most dominant in our country. It is in our blood and even if you don’t sit and watch it, the sound of cricket represents summer.”
Clarke said that cricket in Australia will be back on track regardless of the fate of the T20 World Cup that is in serious doubt because of the pandemic.
Speaking of Michael Clarke, the 39-year old cricketer retired from international cricket following the 2015 World Cup victory. He has played 115 Tests, 245 One Day Internationals (ODI) and 34 T20Is. Clarke scored 8643, 7981, and 488 runs respectively in each format.