Allan Border


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Allan Border

Wisden Cricketer of the Year 1982
Australian Cricket Hall of Fame 2000
Allan Robert Border (born July 27, 1955 in Sydney, New South Wales) is a former Australian cricket captain. His playing nickname was "A.B.". He was the first batsman to score 11,000 runs in Tests. He played 156 Tests in his career, a record until it was passed by another Australian (and in some senses protege of Border), Steve Waugh. Border still retains the world record for the number of consecutive test appearances and the number of tests as captain.
He was a primarily a left hand batsman but also achieved success as a slow left arm orthodox bowler. In his 156 tests Border amassed 11,174 runs (also a world record at the time of his retirement, but since surpassed by Brian Lara) at an average of 50.56. His best bowling was 11/96 against the West Indies in 1989. He hit 27 centuries in his Test career, which is 6th all time. His debut for Australia was against England in 1978. He retired from international cricket in April 1994. Border was a member of the Australian side in the famous 1981 Ashes series against England, when they were seemingly defeated single-handedly by Ian Botham (and on one occasion Bob Willis. Border subsequently cited the agony of losing that series as a major spur for the rest of his career. As a batsman, Border's finest hour possibly came in a 1983/4 tour of West Indies, then the world's leading test side, with a formidable array of fast bowlers. Australia were hopelessly outclassed in the test matches, losing 3-0 and staggeringly going through a five test series without taking a single second innings wicket. Nevertheless, Border averaged 74 with the bat, head and shoulders above his teammates, and batted undefeated through the second test, with 98* and 100* to stave off defeat for his side. Of his contemporaries, perhaps only Sunil Gavaskar could claim a similar record against West Indies, although he enjoyed several years before the likes of Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Malcom Marshall took West Indies to the position of the world's leading test side. Border's legacy as a captain remains of a piece with his legacy as batsman. Taking over from Kim Hughes when the side had lost experienced players and was performing poorly, he rebuilt the Australian side in partnership with innovative coach Bob Simpson. Early on in his tenure, Border received a severe blow when members of what he considered a promising young side announced they would tour South Africa as a rebel Australian side, despite knowing this would lead to a ban from international cricket. Nevertheless, Border and Simpson would go on to mould a formidable side including such future players as Steve Waugh and, towards the end of Border's career, Shane Warne. Their first notable success was winning the 1987 World Cup, and in Test cricket the 1989 Ashes series, won by Australia 4-0 [1] (Australia also won most of the One-Day cricket matches during the tour). Border gained a reputation as a gruff yet effective leader (he was referred to as "Captain Grumpy" in the English press). Ultimately, Border left his successor Mark Taylor with a side that would become the best team in the world under his successor. Border's chief regret as captain was said to be his failure to beat West Indies, something Taylor remedied early in his time as captain. Allan Border wrote an autobiography entitled "Beyond Ten Thousand: My Life Story", which was published in 1993.

Editor: Nishanth Gopinathan.