Cricket legend Allan Border opens up about battle with Parkinson’s disease

Jan 27, 2024
Border recently spoke openly about the challenges he faces and the unexpected journey that unfolded after his diagnosis. Source: Getty Images.

Australian cricket icon Allan Border has shared his journey with Parkinson’s disease, shedding light on the challenges he faces and the unwavering support he receives from his wife and medical team.

Border announced that he had been battling the degenerative neurological disorder that affects movement and coordination in July last year, revealing that he had been diagnosed in 2016.

Renowned for his stellar career and leadership on the field, Border recently spoke openly about the challenges he faces and the unexpected journey that unfolded after his diagnosis.

“I am worried about that slow decline in the process. I’ve taken the route, the less I know the better,” he told Fox Cricket’s Mark Howard

“Jane (his wife) has gone the other way. So I do get lectured quite often ‘you haven’t been for a walk in a couple of days’, or haven’t done this or haven’t done that. Or ‘what are you doing drinking all those beers. All the stuff I should be doing.

“I’ve been kept on the straight and arrow by her and a good medical team.”

Border revealed that the first sign of trouble was soreness in his hip and a dead leg, initially attributing it to the natural ageing process. However, a visit to a neurosurgeon brought an unexpected diagnosis.

“I had to go and see a neurosurgeon and as soon as I walked in the door, he just said ‘look Allan, I can just tell you’ve got Parkinson’s. I’m sorry to tell you’,” Border said.

“You could have knocked me over with a feather basically. I knew something wasn’t quite right but I didn’t think it was that. To be honest, I didn’t know much about Parkinson’s and the first thing that came to my mind was Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic cauldron (at the 1996 Atlanta Games).

“I just thought ‘oh my god’. It was just a strange feeling and strange trip home with Jane, my better half, and just sort of thought ‘what does this actually mean?’”

Border made his international debut for Australia in 1978 and quickly established himself as a prolific batsman and a reliable fielder. Border’s leadership qualities came to the forefront when he took over the captaincy of the Australian cricket team in 1984. Under his guidance, the team experienced a renaissance, transforming from underdogs to world champions.

Border’s notable achievements include leading Australia to their first Ashes victory on English soil in almost 20 years in 1989. He also became the first cricketer to surpass 11,000 runs in Test cricket, solidifying his status as one of the game’s greatest batsmen.

As he confronts a new opponent in Parkinson’s disease, Border remains an inspiration for fans and peers alike, demonstrating resilience and courage in the face of adversity.

His openness about the challenges he faces serves as a reminder of the importance of raising awareness and understanding for those affected by Parkinson’s.

Stories that matter
Emails delivered daily
Sign up