Jacques Kallis, Zaheer Abbas and Lisa Sthalekar have been inducted into the ICC’s Hall of Fame.
Kallis, who retired from international cricket in 2014, has been inducted into the Hall of Fame almost as soon as he became eligible; the ICC rule mandates a five-year gap after a player’s last international match. He is widely regarded as one of cricket’s great allrounders. In addition to being the third-most-prolific Test batsman of all time, with 13,289 runs at an average of 55.37, he also took 292 wickets at 32.65 with his fast-medium swing bowling. He is the fourth South African inducted into Hall of Fame, after Graeme Pollock, Barry Richards and Allan Donald.
Abbas is the sixth Pakistani in the Hall of Fame, after Hanif Mohammad, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis. Abbas played Test cricket from 1969 to 1985, and was renowned worldwide for being an elegant strokeplayer with a massive appetite for runs. He scored 5062 Test-match runs at 44.79, and remains the only subcontinental batsman to have scored more than 100 first-class centuries, a feat that earned him the nickname ‘The Asian Bradman’.
Sthalekar is the 27th Australian cricketer in the Hall of Fame, and the fifth Australian women’s player after Belinda Clark, Betty Wilson, Karen Rolton and Cathryn Fitzpatrick. Sthalekar, who batted in the middle order and bowled offspin, ended her career in 2013 as one of the premier allrounders in women’s cricket. With 2728 runs at 30.65 and 146 wickets at 24.97, she remains one of only five players to have completed the women’s ODI double of 2000 runs and 100 wickets, with Ellyse Perry the only other Australian in that group. Sthalekar has been part of four World-Cup-winning Australia teams, winning the ODI title in 2005 and 2013 and the T20 title in 2010 and 2012.
“Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would ever get to join such an illustrious group of players,” Sthalekar said after the announcement. “I was fortunate enough to learn from the best when I entered the Australia team – Belinda Clark, Karen Rolton and Cathryn Fitzpatrick, all of whom have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, and rightly so. The guidance from them and other team-mates along the way kept me focused but also ensured that it was a fun environment.”
Abbas joined Sthalekar in expressing his gratitude to those who helped shape his career, while Kallis said it felt good to be appreciated in this way.
“I would like to say a special thanks to my family, my country Pakistan, my county Gloucestershire and many fans worldwide who helped me achieve and fulfil my dreams by playing this great game at the highest level,” Abbas said. “It is a final recognition for any cricketer. This great game has made me the person I am. Thank you cricket.”
“It is something that I never expected when I started playing,” Kallis said. “I certainly did not play the game for any accolades or anything like that, I only wanted to win the games for whoever I was playing for. But it is nice to be recognised when one has succeeded in the sport, it is nice to be recognised by people for something that you have achieved in the game.”
Full list of ICC Hall of Fame members.
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