January 25, 2009

McGrath vies for Aussie honour

Jamie Alter

Glenn McGrath's playing engagements are becoming increasingly rare, but the honours don't seem to trail far behind the former Australian fast bowler. In 2008, 18 months after he finished his Test career, McGrath was awarded life membership of Cricket New South Wales. And he now finds himself a finalist for this year's Australian of the Year, a "huge honour" according to the legend himself, for his fund raising efforts for the McGrath foundation.

Since retiring from Tests at the end of the 2006-07 Ashes, McGrath has bravely promoted his late wife Jane's cancer awareness campaign since her death in June, while raising their two children. "To be acknowledged in this way, it's something very special," McGrath told reporters ahead of the announcement. "I'm sure there's a lot of other people out there who probably deserve it more than me."

The McGrath Foundation is a charity that raises awareness of breast cancer and lobby to fund specialist breast care nurses. Publicity for the foundation was boosted earlier this year during the third Test between Australia and South Africa in Sydney when the ground was bathed in a sea of pink.

"The foundation's growing, the support we've had from everyone in Australia is great, so that's growing by the day so my involvement will become a lot more there," said McGrath.

Jamie Alter is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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