Legendary Australia cricketer Allan Border has opened up about his fight with Parkinson’s disease and revealed why he is scared about the “slow decline process.”
“My health is good apart from having Parkinson’s my general health is pretty good,” Border said on Fox Cricket’s at tea on day two of the day-night pink ball Test match played between Australia and West Indies.
“I still play golf. I still go for walks and can do all the things I normally do. I am not running any marathons anymore, but apart from that things are pretty good.”
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.
“It is a neurological disorder where the brain stops developing a thing called dopamine, which affects muscles and your nervous system,” he explained.
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.
“I didn’t know much about Parkinson’s. The first thing that came to my mind at the time was Muhammad Ali lighting the Olympic Cauldron, so I just thought, oh my god.
“It was just a strange feeling and a strange trip home. My better half Jane was with me and we just thought, bloody hell what does this actually mean?”
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.
“I’m not so much scared, but I am worried yeah about that slow decline process,” Border said.
“I am worried about that and I have sort of taken the route that the less I know the better, where as Jane my wife has gone the other way and she knows everything.
“I do get lectured quite often about, you haven’t been for a walk for a couple of days or what are you doing drinking all those beers? And all the stuff I shouldn’t be doing.
“But I am being kept on the straight and narrow by Jane and a good medical team.”
During the chat Mark Howard also revealed the text he sent to Wasim Akram.
“It hasn’t changed me too much, I am getting a lot of good well wishes, which is embarrassing but good. I don’t know whether I have become softer in my approach to how I talk to people,” Border said.
“You sent a message to the group and to Wasim Akram telling him how much you loved him,” asked Howard.
“We were with him at the time and he was completely overwhelmed. That was a beautiful thing that AB sent through and it had a massive impact on him.”
Border laughed and spoke about the admiration, he have for Pakistan legend.
“I told him years ago that if there is reincarnation I want to come back as him. I would have been a very nasty left-arm fastbowler.” Border said.