Former captain Allan Border has revealed he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease, the latest blow to befall former Australian cricketing legends in the past three years.
The 68-year-old has gone public seven years after being diagnosed with the illness and said he and a doctor friend both agreed it would be “a miracle” if he makes 80.
“No way am I going to get another 100, that’s for sure,” Border told Newscorp. “I’ll just slip slowly into the west.”
Border had told only one person of his diagnosis: former teammate Dean Jones, who died of a heart attack in 2020.
Jones was the precursor of a terrible time for Australian cricket.
Former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh and spin king Shane Warne died within days of each other in March 2022, both from heart attacks.
Two months later Andrew Symonds – a member of two World Cup-winning sides – was killed in a car crash.
Border, who spoke at Warne’s memorial service, said he had been happy to keep the news to himself over the past seven years but a friend had told him last week many of his close associates had noticed his shaking.
“I’m a pretty private person and I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me sort of thing,” he said. “Whether people care you don’t know. But I know there’ll come a day when people will notice.”
Border, though, showing the same rugged determination that he had as skipper – yielding the 1987 World Cup and an Ashes series win over England in 1989 – said he was in a better place than many other people.
“I get the feeling I’m a hell of a lot better off than most,” said Border, who scored 27 centuries and 63 half-centuries in 156 Tests.
“At the moment I’m not scared, not about the immediate future anyway.
“I’m 68. If I make 80, that’ll be a miracle.
“I’ve got a doctor friend and I said if I make 80, that’ll be a miracle, and he said, ‘That will be a miracle.'”
© Agence France-Presse