|Allan Robert Border
|July 27, 1955 Cremorne, Sydney, New South Wales
|68 Years, 7 Months, 5 Days
|Slow left-arm orthodox
Left-handed cricketers are known to be a graceful breed. However, Allan Border belonged to the rugged variety, who would tough it out on the field and collect his runs. Border ended his Test career with more than 11,000 runs, breaking Sunil Gavaskar’s long standing record at the top of the heap.
Following Kim Hughes' tearful resignation at Brisbane in 1984-85, Border took over the reins from him. Make no mistake, he wasn't a natural leader by any means. He's himself admitted to entering captaincy with great reluctance. But, as he has with his batting, the great man applied himself to the trade and did so tremendously well. What makes his tenure even better is that he led the side during a dark period. Most Australians had opted to play in the World Series Championships organized by Kerry Packer in 1977, so the job of rebuilding Australian cricket wasn't going to be an easy one.
Though, it must be stated that his era as leader didn't exactly start off as he would have hoped it would. The Kangaroos lost a series against New Zealand for the first time at home and then went on to be thumped by the mighty West Indies after that. However, throughout all this, Border was collecting himself runs in all sorts of conditions. The Chennai Test against India was the starting point of Australia's rise in the cricketing world. Border braved his way to a gritty ton but his memorable comment to Dean Jones, whereby he told him to tough it out and not be a weakling when suffering from heat exhaustion, saw Jones score a double century which ultimately resulted in the second ever tied Test match in history.
Allan was a terrific player and a great servant for his country, but his greatest contribution to the Australian cricket was the period when he captained a not-so-strong team to a World Cup victory in 1987. After that, he led them to an Ashes triumph, and the Aussie team never looked back since, going from strength to strength.
In the process, he displayed that he was a handy all-rounder too. He scalped 11 wickets against West Indies in the 4th Test at the SCG in 1988, which was his only career 10-wicket haul. In ODIs, he had taken 73 wickets, but once famously claimed "I am the kind of bowler I would like to bat against." He was not only a doughty batsman, but also a great fielder, both in terms of catching and hitting the stumps from his customary short mid-wicket position.
Allan Border retired from international cricket in '94 and eventually went on to become a selector in '98. He resigned from the post in 2005 to pursuit his long-standing media interests and was in and out of the selection committee after that. Eventually, he was reeled into the commentary box where he provided his unique opinion on the game. To commemorate Allan Border’s great achievements, the Australian Cricket Board gives out the Allan Border Medal to the best Aussie cricketer of the season and he has also been inducted in the Australian Cricket Hall of fame.
During his time, Border had a whole bunch of records which have now been surpassed. He played in the most number of Test (156), scored the most number of runs (11,174 runs), featured in the most consecutive Tests (153), had more catches than any other player, was also the first to score a 150 in each innings of a Test and captained the side a record 93 times. He was the titan that laid the foundation for Australia's long term success.