Former Australia captain Allan Border has revealed that he has been involved in a private bout with Parkinson’s disease over the past seven years and that it’ll be a ‘miracle’ if he’s able to live until he is 80.
“I’m a pretty private person and I didn’t want people to feel sorry for me sort of thing,” Australia’s first World Cup winning skipper told News Corp. “Whether people care you don’t know. But I know there’ll come a day when people will notice.”
Border, who was also the first player in history to score 11,000 Test runs, was diagnosed with the brain disorder that causes unintended or uncontrollable movements in 2016. “I walked into the neurosurgeon’s and he said straight up, ‘I’m sorry to tell you but you’ve got Parkinson’s’,” Border said. “‘Just the way you walked in. Your arms straight down by your side, hanging not swinging.’ He could just tell.”
The 67-year-old’s Fox Sports colleague Steve Crawley told Border that despite his best efforts to keep his condition private, his friends had taken notice of the same.
“I get the feeling I’m a hell of a lot better off than most. 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’.”
Having made his national team debut in 1978, Border went on to play 156 Tests and 273 ODIs for Australia until 1994, scoring over 17,698 runs that consisted of 30 centuries. In first-class cricket, he’d score over 27,000 runs that included a staggering 70 centuries.
Having skippered Australian men’s cricket team to their first world title in 1987, Border was also part of the 55 inaugural ICC Cricket Hall of Fame inductees in 2009 and is one of the two names after whom the India-Australia Test series is nomenclatured.