Controversy erupts over Michael Clarke's Order of Australia honour

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Michael Clarke looks on during the 2013 Ashes series. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Aussie cricket heroes Michael Clarke and Lyn Larsen have both been recognised in the annual Queen's Birthday Honours.

However some have questioned why Clarke was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) while Larsen was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia.

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Clarke and Larsen were among 933 Australians recognised in the annual honours on Monday.

Other sporting identities to be appointed an AM included Glenn Bourke (sailing), Bruno Cullen (rugby league), Norman Farmer (life saving) and Julie Fitzgerald (netball).

However a number of leading cricket voices queried the call to hand Clarke the higher rank than Larsen.

Renowned cricket blogger Rick Eyre voiced his displeasure on Twitter.

“Michael Clarke and Lyn Larsen both led Australia to victory in a Cricket World Cup and both won the Ashes,” Eyre wrote.

“Clarke received an AO, Larsen received an AM - the next level below. Australia, we're not there yet.”

And the official Twitter account for the Bradman Museum in Bowral agreed.

“How can anyone researching their careers both on and off the field separate these two Australian captains?” they replied.

Larsen was captain of Australia when they became the first team to beat England on English soil in 1987.

She then led her country to victory in the World Cup one year later.

She played just 15 Test and 49 one-day internationals in the 1980s and 90s but had a 27-10 record as captain in one-dayers.

As for Clarke, he amassed over 16,000 runs across Tests and ODIs, averaging 49.10 in the five-day format.

He also captained Australia to World Cup glory and Ashes success.

Lyn Larsen proud of women’s cricket progress

During her esteemed career, Larsen captained Australia to victory in the 1988 World Cup final at the MCG before about 3000 spectators.

Some 32 years later, she sat in the MCG grandstand among a crowd of more than 86,000 people as Australia captured the women's Twenty20 World Cup.

“I didn't think I would ever see this,” Larsen told AAP.

“And if it was ever going to happen, I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime.”

For Larsen, who also served as a team manager and selector, her latest recognition came as a surprise almost as large as the recent growth in her beloved sport.

Lyn Larsen celebrates with the Women's Cricket World Cup trophy in 1988. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

“A lot of people say ‘you probably wish you were playing now' and I say 'I don't',” said Larsen, who played 15 Tests and 49 one-day internationals from 1984-94.

“When we did it, we had jobs - cricket wasn't our job.

“The really nice thing about the (T20 World Cup) final - apart from the crowd and the atmosphere and it went according to script, it was perfect - was catching up with all of the old players in the stands, players I hadn't seen for 30-odd years.

“There was no-one there who was resentful, it was just a genuine pride of where the game is at ... everyone was acknowledging we played our little part in that stepping stone to getting it where it is today.”

with AAP