Mark Taylor named Australian of the Year (25 January 1999)

25 January 1999

Mark Taylor named Australian of the Year


BRISBANE, Australia, Jan 25 (AFP) - Australian Test cricket captain Mark Taylor was named Australian of the Year on Monday.

He follows his predecessor Allan Border in winning the coveted award.

Other notable Australians to achieve the honour include actor Paul Hogan, racing driver Sir Jack Brabham and soprano Dame Joan Sutherland.

Last year the award went to Aboriginal ambassador and world champion athlete Cathy Freeman.

After accepting the award from Prime Minister John Howard, Taylor said he wanted to congratulate every Australian who achieved things for the nation, but who were not recognised.

"I believe we are the lucky country," he said. "It will be easy for me to go around and tell everyone just how lucky we are."

He said a decision on his cricketing future would be made by next weekend and whether he led the Australian team to the Caribbean to play the West Indies.

"I've got a lot of serious thinking to do over the next few days," he said.

"I'd like to enjoy the fact that I've been made Australian of the Year, then I've really got to come up with a final decision before they pick the side to go to the West Indies.

"By the weekend I'll have that decision made."

He said Australian cricket could survive without him.

"There's always going to be controversy in the game because it is scrutinised so closely," he said, referring to recent incidents, notably the Mark Waugh/Shane Warne bookmaker bribery scandal.

"I think the game has to get on without Mark Taylor in it sometime. Whether it's this week or next year, I really don't know."

Source :: AFP