DateLine: 28th November 2009
West Indies batting great Brian Lara has been conferred with the honorary membership of the Order of Australia. It was in recognition of his service in improving Australia-Caribbean relations through cricket.
The Australian government issued a statement praising Lara's "service to Australia-Caribbean relations by promoting goodwill, friendship and sportsmanship through the sport of cricket."
"Lara has been pivotal in enabling cricket coaching workshops to be conducted for talented young cricketers," the statement said.
"By facilitating the use of Australian coaching staff locally, he has been the key to furthering a positive image of Australia in the Caribbean," it said.
From the 131 Tests he played, Lara scored 11,953 runs, second only to India's Sachin Tendulkar, at an average of 52.88 with 34 hundreds. He also averaged more than 50 against Australia while scoring nine centuries. The 40-year-old Trinidadian, who retired in 2007 after a 17-year international career, still holds the record for the highest Test score (400 not out) and highest score in a first-class match (501 not out).
The Order of Australia was established in 1975 "for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service"