Former Australian Test cricketers Michael Clarke OAM and Karen Hill, nee Price, were inducted as Cricket NSW Life Members at the association’s Annual General Meeting on Monday night at the SCG.
Clarke, who captained Australia in 47 of his 115 Tests, and Karen Price became the 130th and 131st Life Members of Cricket NSW.
Price, a right-arm pace bowler and right-handed batter, represented Australia in eight Test matches and 16 One-Day Internationals between 1975/76 and 1986. Since then she has made an enormous contribution to the game in coaching, administration and now as a researcher at the Bradman Museum in Bowral as part of the Women’s Heritage Council.
Between 1977/78 and 1982/83 inclusive, Karen played with the Normanhurst Cricket Club in the Hornsby Kuring-gai Men's Association. She began with this club in their B Grade side, and captained during the 1978/79 season. Between 1979/80 and 1982/83 inclusive, I was a member of the club’s A Grade side and won the club’s Player of the Year Award.
On returning to women’s cricket in the 1983/84 season Karen joined the Gordon Club and was captain of their first grade side from this time until 1988/89. She was selected in the Australian women’s team to tour India as vice-captain. One of the pioneers of women’s cricket, her International return in India included a Test century and best figures of 6-72, both against India.
Congratulations to Karen on receiving life membership in recognition of a life time’s dedication to NSW.
Michael Clarke, now 39, is the fourth leading run-scorer in Men’s Test cricket for Australia with 8,643 runs at an average almost 50, including a highest score 329 not out made against India, at his beloved SCG, in January 2012.
He is also fourth on the all-time run-scorers’ list for Australia in One-Day International cricket with 7,981 at an average of 44.58.
For NSW, Clarke scored 3,164 First Class runs at 43.34, including 11 centuries, and was part of two Sheffield Shield titles, or Pura Cup as it was then known, in 2003 and 2008.
He was also one of Australia’s finest fielders taking 203 First Class catches and 132 in One-Day cricket. His handy left-arm finger spin produced 42 First Class wickets including best figures of 6-9 for Australia against India in 2004.
Clarke has also been ambassador for several charities, launched his own Cricket Academy and established a media career post retirement. He received the Order of Australia Medal in June.
“It’s such an honour, I cherished my time playing for NSW and that started from a really young age,” said Clarke.
“I think Under 12s was the first Metropolitan squad for NSW, so every Sunday I was training sort of from 12 years of age all the way up to making my debut at 18 years of age.
“Playing for my club Western Suburbs is something I cherished just as much as playing for NSW and Australia.”
Clarke said he was blessed to play during the era that he did.
“I played with so many great players, and I got to see a lot of young super stars make their debut and now go on to be very successful Australian cricketers.
“Obviously the guys you idolised, the Waugh brothers, Michael Bevan and Michael Slater, Glenn McGrath, when I first came into the team, but when they went and represented Australia, we still had a lot of International players playing for NSW, we had a young Brett Lee, Stuart MacGill, Shane Lee and Brad Haddin.
“So, all of those guys had influence, there’s no doubt about it.”
The two Pura Cup wins are a special memory for Clarke but scoring a century with his idol was particularly special.
“I’ve got to say Michael Slater was my idol growing up and I remember we both got hundreds at the Adelaide Oval together.
“As a young batsman getting the chance to bat with his idol, and making a hundred together, that’s probably something me and Slats still talk about regularly when we catch up.”
(Article courtesy of CNSW)