Australian cricket legend Allan Border immortalised in life-size bronzed sculpture

The Allan Border statue erected at Allan Border Oval has been commended for its quality and detail.

What's this? A statue that has neither drawn controversy for its subject matter nor been pulled apart by critics for looking like it was created by a first year TAFE student?

Yes, it is possible. Cricketing great Allan Border has been immortalised in a life-size bronzed sculpture unveiled at the ground bearing his name – Allan Border Oval (formerly Mosman Oval) – just 100m from the house he grew up in on Sydney's lower north shore. It's where his cricketing journey began in the 1970s.

Pictured Allan Border left and his statue right
Cricketing great Allan Border has been immortalised in a life-size bronzed sculpture. Image: Getty/Mosman Council

The gutsy left-hander would go on to become of our greatest batsmen and captains, scoring more than 11,000 Test runs and leading Australian cricket out of the doldrums. The statue, created by leading Australian sculptor Linda Klarfeld and officially launched by former Test captain Ian Chappell, depicts AB cover driving a ball to the boundary.

The likeness to the real thing is uncanny, unlike other disasters around the sporting world. The most famous example of sporting statutes gone wrong is the hideous Cristiano Ronaldo bust unveiled at Madeira airport in 2017.

The bronze sculpture bears little resemblance to the Portuguese superstar and attracted worldwide condemnation, with critics likening it to Jim Carrey's character in The Mask or a combination of Vanilla Ice, Johnny Bravo and Mr Incredible. It was eventually replaced amid much controversy.

Back home, Australian sporting statues have mostly been on point. Most, but not all.

A statue of iconic NRL commentator Ray Warren, launched in his hometown of Junee in 2011, resulted in an ugly legal spat between fellow broadcasters Andrew Voss and Ray Hadley. Voss suggested on the Sunday Roast the bust did not look much like Warren, which drew a furious on-air response from Hadley on 2GB.

Voss sued Hadley for defamation and the case was settled before it went to court. Klarfeld acknowledged the pressure to get it right was enormous.

"The biggest challenge was understanding the pose because when I received the commission I knew nothing about cricket," she told Yahoo Sport Australia. "I wanted to capture that steely determination and the bravery of the legendary cricketer who was also known as ‘Captain Grumpy’.


"He is very focused with a detailed mind. Everything had to be right. The angle of the bat, the pose. We had to be historically correct. I am proud of the sculpture especially considering I was a small child when AB saved Australian cricket. I never would have known then that I would meet the great man himself and that I would make a sculpture of him which would honour and recognise his legacy for hundreds of years."

Border, now 68, was delighted with the outcome. "It's a good shot. To have a statue out in the open, it’s just special," he told the Mosman Collective website.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 14: Ray Warren arrives ahead of the 2019 NRL Hall of Fame at Carriageworks on August 14, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by James Gourley/Getty Images)
A statue of iconic NRL commentator Ray Warren (pictured) famously resulted in an ugly legal spat between fellow broadcasters Andrew Voss and Ray Hadley.