The award was established in 2006 to recognise outstanding contributors to the ACA and its membership. The award is named after Kerry Packer as a result of the ACA Executive deeming him to be the most significant contributor to the players’ cause in Australian cricket history. Recipients are afforded Honorary Life Membership of the ACA.
Marsh paid tribute to Matthews’ contribution.
“Greg played a key role in the establishment of the ACA more than 17 years ago and has made an enormous contribution to the players and the game,” he said.
“He was among a unique band of players who were prepared to make a stand to improve the conditions for the wider playing group. In addition to challenges with Australian players, this was at a time in which those at State level had no contracts, no security and very low pay. Greg, alongside the other members of the inaugural ACA Executive, helped unite the players and ushered in a new era of professionalism and opportunity.
“In addition to his time on the Executive, Greg has been a foundation member of the ACA Masters team, which has seen him play and help promote the game throughout a huge number of regional centres across Australia. Apart from the joy he continues to get from taking a wicket or two, his love of the game is matched only by his regard for the people within it.
“When the ACA’s Past Player Game and Personal Development Program was launched in December last year, Greg took on the job of State Coordinator for New South Wales and has pursued that role with customary passion.
“I’m thrilled to present Greg with this award, which is an accolade he thoroughly deserves. There are few stronger characters in the game than Mo and few, particularly within the ACA, who’ve made a stronger contribution.”
Matthews said he was delighted to recieve the award.
"Look, you're not in the game to receive accolades but I've got to say, being part of the group that helped establish the ACA is without question my proudest achievement in cricket," he said.
"To be involved with something that was so powerful, and which helped so many back then and into the future, was just fantastic. We brought an end to the master-slave relationship and were finally afforded the respect that for so long had been missing. The stand taken then by a united playing group established a legacy which has continued on and I've loved being involved throughout the journey."
Greg Matthews played 33 Tests and 55 ODIs for Australia, taking ten tickets in the famous Tied Test in Madras in 1986. He made four Test centuries and averaged 41 with the bat. He holds records for the most appearances and first-class wickets for New South Wales.
The ACA has staged its Delegates conference at Moonah Links from 17-18 July, featuring player representatives from each State. At the same time, the State Coordinators for the ACA’s Past Player Game and Personal Development Program gathered for their annual meeting.