Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar, former South African speedster Allan Donald and Australia's Cathryn Fitzpatrick became the latest inductees into the ICC Hall of fame, the International Cricket Council announced in a ceremony held on Thursday (July 19).
Tendulkar, who holds the record of most Test and One-Day International runs as well as the most centuries in both formats and is the only cricketer in the history of the game to notch up 100 international tons became the sixth Indian batsman to be bestowed with this honour. Undoubtedly the most prolific batsman the game has ever seen, Tendulkar was inducted immediately after becoming eligible. ICC guidelines dictate that a player should have retired from all forms of international cricket for a minimum of five years. Tendulkar had drawn curtains on his career in November 2013.
In all, Tendulkar finished his career with 15,921 runs in 200 Tests at an average of 53.78 which included 51 centuries and 68 half-centuries. A World Cup winning player in 2011, the 46-year-old amassed 18,426 run in 463 ODIs averaging 44.83 with 49 tons and 96 fifties. He was also the first ever cricketer to score a double century in ODI cricket.
“It is an honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, which cherishes the contribution of cricketers over generations. They have all contributed to the growth and popularity of the game and I am happy to have done my bit," Tendulkar said after being inducted.
“On this occasion, I would like to thank all of those who were by my side over a long international career. My parents, brother Ajit and wife Anjali have been pillars of strength while I was lucky to have someone like coach Ramakant Achrekar as an early guide and mentor.
“I am also thankful to all my captains, fellow players and the BCCI and the MCA administrators over the years for their support and for making me enjoy the game so much and for so long. I thank the ICC for this appreciation of my cricket career and I am happy to note that cricket continues to grow with three popular formats.”
Donald popularly known as 'White Lightning', was one of South Africa's greatest ever fast bowler. He was the first bowler from his country to take 300 Test wickets and is one of the players credited with South Africa’s success in the game after their return to international cricket in 1991.
Donald played 72 Tests for his country where he returned 330 wickets at an average of 22.25 and a strike-rate of 47. In 164 ODIs, he finished with 272 wickets striking at 31.4 and averaging 21.78.
"The biggest shock when you open an e-mail like that - it says congratulations Allan Donald, you have been inducted in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame! It hits you, it hits you quite hard because it is a prestigious award and something that you can't take lightly. I thank the ICC for the huge honour," Donald said. "It all immediately takes you back to where you started. The reflection is of such a nature that everything that you have done in your career since you were a little boy starts to creep into your head. There are so many people to thank who have influenced my life - as mentors, as coaches.
"If I start with Free State cricket back in the day, then the legendary Hansie Cronje's dad Mr Ewie Cronje, helped me through school and college cricket and then there was my uncle Des Donald who was very hard on me. Bob Woolmer was a mentor, we clicked in international cricket and he showed me the road to success."
Former Australian seamer Fitzpatrick was a pioneer of women's cricket and easily the best pacer of her time. The fastest bowler in women's cricket for 16 years, Fitzpatrick helped Australia win two Women's World Cups and becomes the eight woman to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. She returned 60 wickets at 19.11 apiece in 13 Tests while picked up a record 180 wickets at 16.79 apiece in 109 ODIs.
Fitzpatrick's 180 ODI wickets were a world record from her retirement in 2003 until May 2017. She also spent a women’s record 2113 days as the number 1 ranked ODI bowler and reached 898 points in the Women’s ODI rankings in February 2004 – the highest bowling points tally for any woman.
Speaking about her induction, she said, "To gain recognition alongside many of the games’ giants is a huge honour. I look at the list of past inductees and what stands out most is not only their outstanding talent, but that they were game changers. They took the game on and changed the way it was played.
“I have had many people over the journey who have guided me as coaches, team-mates, administrators and friends and I would like to thank them all.”