Former Australia women's cricket team captain Lisa Sthalekar has been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, the country's board (CA) announced on Friday.
‘One of the greatest players our team has seen, and one of the most important figures in the women's game worldwide! Congratulations to Lisa Sthalekar on being inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame #AusCricketAwards,’ Australian Women's Cricket Team posted on their Facebook handle.
One of the world's elite spin-bowling all-rounders, the Pune-born cricketer has represented Australia in eight Tests, 125 ODIs and 54 T20IS in a career spanning 12 years from 2001-13, scoring almost 4,000 runs.
Sthalekar was a member of four Australian World Cup-winning teams across the ODI and T20 formats and captained Australia in three ODIs against New Zealand in 2006.
She was named Women's International Cricketer of the Year in 2007, and was awarded the Belinda Clark Medal -- recognising Australia's best women's international cricketer – in 2007 and 2008. In August 2020, she became the 27th Australian to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
"Lisa Sthlalekar comfortably sits at the table of Women's cricket trailblazers alongside Belinda Clark, Karen Rolton and Melanie Jones, and the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame is delighted to welcome her as the latest inductee," Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Chairman Peter King said.
"She left the sport as a four-time World Cup winner and a plethora of personal accolades, but has continued to advocate and champion the Women's game as an administrator, commentator and ambassador."
Since retiring from the game after the 2013 World Cup win in Mumbai, Sthalekar has been a strong advocate for the increased professionalism of the women's game through serving on the board of the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) and as a director with the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA).
Her involvement in cricket also extends through to her work as a leading broadcast commentator in some of the game's pre-eminent competitions, including the KFC BBL and rebel WBBL, along with the Indian Premier League.
Clea Smith, former teammate and Australian Cricketers' Association board member, said: "On the field, her stats with both bat and ball speak for themselves. She was one of the fiercest competitors going around, but always managed to do it with a smile on her face.
"Off the field, she has been every bit as impressive, using her voice and influence to breakthrough barriers and advance the women's game from the grassroots through to the professional level," Smith added.
CA board member and former teammate Mel Jones said Sthalekar thoroughly deserves to be inducted in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
"She now rightfully sits among the absolute elite cricketers of the women's game, joining Belinda Clark, Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Betty Wilson and Karen Rolton as members of both the Australian and ICC Cricket Halls of Fame," she said.