An opening batsman for Western Australia, Mr Sawle retired from first-class cricket in 1961, finishing his playing career at the age of 35 with a modest record of 1,701 runs at 28.83.

Commonly called the ‘Colonel’ by everyone in Australian cricket, Mr Sawle had a distinguished career as state selector from 1962 to 1980 and handed first-class debuts to the likes of Dennis Lillee, Rod Marsh, Kim Hughes, Terry Alderman, Bob Massie, Ross Edwards and John Inverarity.

During his 18-year tenure as a state selector, WA became the dominant force in Australian cricket, winning the Shield six times and the domestic one-day title four times.

One of the most visionary cricket administrators Australia has produced, Mr Sawle applied combined a razor-sharp mind with a fundamental belief in the value of youth and character to help steer the nation's cricketing direction over the latter part of the 20th century.

From 1982 to 1995, he was an Australian selector - and was the chairman of the panel for 11 of those years. His talent spotting enabled Australia to rebuild their fortunes in the 1980s, culminating in regaining the Ashes in 1989 when Sawle was also a popular and effective team manager.

He applied the same principles during his time as Director on the Australian Cricket Board (now Cricket Australia).

His vast contribution as a WA selector and administrator, including a long period on the WACA Executive and a brief time as its Chairman before going on to national honours, saw the Laurie Sawle Medal created and awarded for the first time in 2000-01.