Melbourne, Jan.26 : Former Australian fast bowler Glenn McGrath is quite happy to be known as his wife, Jane's, husband, especially if it helps to raise awareness for the breast cancer charity established in their name.
The McGraths' were appointed Members of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Australia Day honours today.
Describing the recognition as a bigger thrill than playing for his country, Glenn was quoted by The Australian as saying that: "It is a huge honour. I feel very lucky to be involved in the Australian cricket team. I'd say this tops it."
McGrath was at the height of his cricket career, when Jane, who was then 31, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997. He went on to take more wickets than any fast bowler, while together they raised two children and established the McGrath Foundation.
"Cricket to me is something that I always loved doing. It was never a problem, never hard or never a big ask, but to be honoured for something you love is very easy to me," he said.
"Real life is what happens off the field, especially what I and Jane have been through for the last 10 years. Now that I've retired from cricket I'll become Jane McGrath's husband, rather than Glenn McGrath the cricketer."
The charity has raised 3.2million dollars to fund dedicated nurses to care for breast cancer patients.
Jane was recognised for her services to the community through the foundation, as was Glenn, whose contributions to cricket were also acknowledged.
Australian vice-captain Adam Gilchrist, who raised money for the charity by wearing pink wicket-keeping gloves, spoke of his admiration for the couple in Adelaide yesterday. "The most astounding thing about Glenn and Jane's situation since Jane was first diagnosed is their positive approach to the personal battle," he said.
"They could have dealt with it alone and as a couple, but it's been quite inspiring the way they went about it."
Batsman Matthew Hayden, who wears a pink grip on his bat to raise awareness for the National Breast Cancer Foundation, is also a friend of the McGraths'.
"I find them both in their own ways inspirational for what they have been through and what they have done with the foundation," the Test opener said.