Former World Cup-winning skipper Micheal Clarke was on Monday appointed an officer in the Order of Australia, joining some legendary names like Allan Border and Steve Waugh who received the honor in the past.
Clarke, who led his national team to the 2015 World Cup crown, has been appointed an officer (AO) in the general division of the Order of Australia, an honour for achievement or meritorious service.
“To be honest, I thought it was an April fool’s prank in June. Very surprised but in the same breath very honoured.” Clarke said while speaking to Channel 9.
The other Australian skippers who have received an AO include Ricky Ponting, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh, Allan Border and Bob Simpson.
Clarke has been honoured for “distinguished service to cricket as a player at the national and international level, through leadership roles, and to the community”.
The 39-year-old retired right after his team lifted their 5th World Cup crown in 2015. The veteran batsman played 115 Tests, 245 ODIs and 34 T20s, scoring 8643, 7981 and 488 runs respectively.
Commenting on the resumption of cricket following the COVID-19 crisis, Clarke sounded cheerful.
“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,” he said.
“We are in great hands when it comes talent in this country. I love the players coming out and saying that if ”we have to take a pay cut because of where the games sit, we are happy to do that”. That shows their character.
I am really confident no matter what happens with COVID, whether we get this World Cup in October or start the summer in November, sport will find a way to survive and find a way to be successful.” he added.
Cricket Australia, enduring losses close to 300 million Australian dollars, is banking heavily on hosting the India Test series later this year to get back on its feet financially