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Australian cricketer Allan Border batting against South Africa in a one day international at Melbourne, Australia, 9th December 1993. (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images)
Australian cricketer Allan Border batting against South Africa in a one day international at Melbourne, Australia, 9th December 1993. (Photo by Ben Radford/Getty Images)

Allan Border: From Captain Grumpy to national hero

As we head towards Australia Day and remember this country's legends, our friends at Bundaberg Rum give you the chance to put forward your memories of our sporting greats. Hit us up in the comments field below and tell us your favourite Allan Border story.

Meanwhile you can nominate your own local sporting legend and win prizes for yourself and them. More info here.

Allan Border was a true hero of Aussie sport during a golden era of world cricket.

AB was playing cricket back when sledging was actually funny and not taken so seriously.

AB was a rugged little leftie batsman and a handy spinner who didn't fit the usual mould of today's cricketers and captains.

He was a tough little bugger who played when Australia weren't dominating as they have in more recent times, and the West Indies and New Zealand were actually good.

When AB took over as Aussie captain, Australian cricket was at a low point. Kim Hughes had just broken down in tears at a press conference and quit, and the West Indies had just beaten us to a pulp yet again.

Australian cricket was struggling and our new skipper faced a huge job to get us back to the top. But AB proved he was up to the task.

For the next 10 years or so he held up our top order, saving our butts so many times with a gritty ton.

He earned the moniker of Captain Grumpy as he started rebuilding a rubbery Australian cricket team into a dour and competitive unit. And he gave just about every member of the Australian team a spray along the way. Turned them into men.

It worked eventually, as by the end of his international career AB had managed to get Australia back to being a world cricket power, leading to them victory in the '87 World Cup and an epic Ashes win in England in '89.

He did it with guts and determination. He also inadvertently lent his ear to Merv Hughes' tongue more times than any other cricketer would've ever wanted.

AB had one of the more boring nicknames in cricket, particularly compared to other recent Australian captains who went by the likes of Tubby, Tugga and Punter.

"Captain Grumpy" was quite amusing due to his famous bouts of crankiness.

But that wasn't as funny as his original moniker Pugsley - named after the chubby kid from the creepy fictitious TV brood the Addams Family.

It didn't stick though. None of the players had the guts to call him Pugsley when he was captain, so dull old AB it was. 

AB retired in 1994 with a truckload of records and as an Australian sporting legend.

When you think of Allan Border these days you picture a fairly happy-go-lucky bloke offering his astute knowledge as a commentator of Shield cricket.

You think of the annual cricket medal named after him.

But he was once a little Aussie battler. He was once the face of Australian cricket - a man with a more important job than the Prime Minister.

AB is an Australian legend and we'll always love him for what he did for Aussie cricket.

Make your own Aussie legends