Former Australia skipper Michael Clarke was recently honoured with Officer of the order of Australia (AO). The World Cup-winning skipper joined the elite list of Australian cricketers like Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor and Allan Border.
39-year-old Clarke bid adieu to the sport following Australia’s World Cup triumph in 2015. Donning the national jersey in 115 Tests, 245 ODIs and 34 T20s, Clarke scored 8643, 7981 and 488 runs respectively.
Clarke was honoured for his ‘distinguished service to cricket as a player at the national and international level, through leadership roles, and to the community’.
Reacting to the prestigious recognition, Clarke wrote on his Twitter, “It makes me very proud to say that cricket has given me so much more than I could ever have imagined, and this is another example of why I owe the game so much.”
“Without the support of my family, friends, fans and teammates, I wouldn’t be where I am today. This recognition and accolade is as much for you guys as it is for my contribution #orderofaustralia #2020,” added Clarke.
I’m not sure how to express the gratitude and honour I have today, for receiving such a prestigious award. As surprised as I was to be seen in such light, and alongside some of my heroes, it makes me very proud to… https://t.co/LRh4aonlX0
— Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) June 8, 2020
Both Clarke and Larsen have led Australia to World Cup and Ashes glory
Apart from Clarke, the former Aussie women captain Lyn Larsen was also honoured but with a lower-level post of Member of the Order of Australia (AM), resulting into many fans question the decision.
Both Clarke and Larsen have won the World Cup and both have led Australia to victory in Ashes. However, Clarke receiving a high-level recognization over Larsen has irked many fans and they called out the ‘inequality’ aspect.
Famous Aussie cricket blogger Rick Eyre, while pointing out the inequality between male and female cricketers, said– “Australia, we’re not there yet,” via his official Twitter handle.
Michael Clarke and Lyn Larsen both led Australia to victory in a Cricket World Cup and both won the Ashes. Clarke received an AO, Larsen received an AM – the next level below.
Australia, we're not there yet.
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) June 7, 2020
He mentioned that he has nothing personal against Clarke and completely justified his honour, but opined that women cricketers shouldn’t be overshadowed.
“Nothing against Pup getting an AO by the way. His playing credentials fully justify the honour and the only cricketer to get an award at the next level, AC, was Sir Donald Bradman. But our great female cricketers continue to lie in the shadows of limited opportunity and attention,” tweeted Rick.
Nothing against Pup getting an AO by the way. His playing credentials fully justify the honour and the only cricketer to get an award at the next level, AC, was Sir Donald Bradman. But our great female cricketers continue to lie in the shadows of limited opportunity and attention
— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) June 8, 2020
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