Michael Clarke, the former Australia captain, has joined the elite list of Aussie cricketers, after recently being honoured with Officer of the order of Australia (AO). The 39-year-old hung his boots in 2015 after serving the Australian cricket for over a decade.
Before Clarke, former legends like Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Allan Border and Bob Simpson have also been gratified with similar recognition.
Apart from the 2015 World Cup-winning skipper, the former Aussie women captain Lyn Larsen was also honoured but with a lower-level post of Member of the Order of Australia (AM) and a section of the cricket community have raised questions on this decision.
The reason why such a question has been raised is that both Clarke and Larsen have won the World Cup and both have led Australia to victory in Ashes. Still the former has received a high-level recognition.
Famous Aussie cricket blogger Rick Eyre questioned the disparity between male and female cricketers and termed it as: “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
However, Rick further mentioned that he has nothing personal against Clarke and completely justified his honour, but stated 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
Clarke has reacted to the prestigious recognition. The Liverpool-born wrote a statement on Instagram and its link was shared on 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,” part of a statement read.
“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,” concluded 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