Michael Clarke’s AO honour called out


Sections of the cricket community have questioned the decision to present former Australian captain Michael Clarke with a higher rank than former women's captain Lyn Larsen on the Queen's Birthday Honours list.

Clarke and Larsen were recognised alongside former Prime Minister Tony Abbott on a list of 933 Australians on Monday.

But the decision to appoint Clarke an Officer of the order of Australia (AO), while handing Larsen the lower-tier Member of the Order of Australia (AM) ruffled some feathers.

Cricket blogger Rick Eyre was first to raise the disparity, tweeting: "Australia, we're not there yet."

The official Twitter account for the Bradman Museum in Bowral agreed, tweeting: "How can anyone researching their careers both on and off the field separate these two Australian captains?"

Per the International Cricket Council, Larsen was the most successful women's Test captain ever and finished her career with the third lowest economy rate (1.37 runs per over) of any bowler, male or female, to take 20 wickets.

She captained the Australian women's team to its first series win on English soil in 1987 and backed it up by winning the World Cup the following year.

Cricket wasn't a full-time job for women while Larsen was playing in the 1980s and early 1990s and she played just 15 Test and 49 ODIs. But she was a winner, compiling a 27-10 one-day record as captain.

Lyn Larsen debuted for Australia at 21 and was captaining her country by 22.
Lyn Larsen debuted for Australia at 21 and was captaining her country by 22.

Clarke's achievements are much better known. He was one of the finest batsmen of his generation, scoring 8643 Test runs at an average of 49.1 and captained Australia to the 2015 World Cup on home soil.

He told Nine he initially believed it was a prank when he was told of his AO. "To be honest, I thought it was an April Fool's joke in June," Clarke said.


Originally published as Michael Clarke's AO honour called out