Sachin Tendulkar is the sixth Indian to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
India's cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar of India, retired pace ace Allan Donald of South Africa and former Australia woman fast bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at a ceremony in London, on Thursday.
Tendulkar, the most prolific batsman in history, was inducted immediately after becoming eligible for induction, which requires that a player should have played his last international match at least five years before. Tendulkar, who retired in November 2013, tallied 15,921 runs in Tests and 18,426 in ODIs, both of which remain records. He is the sixth Indian to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Donald, known as the ‘White Lightening’, was arguably South Africa’s fastest bowler ever and finished with 330 Test and 272 ODI wickets. He is one of the players credited with South Africa’s success in the game after their return to international cricket in 1991.
Fitzpatrick, the eighth woman to win the award, was the fastest bowler in women’s cricket for a period of 16 years, ending her career with 180 wickets in 109 matches, a record then. She helped Australia win two ICC Women’s Cricket World Cups and finished with 60 wickets in 13 Tests.
Tendulkar thanked his coach Ramakant Achrekar for playing an early role in his development as a cricketer, while he didn't forget the contributions made by his parents, brother Ajit, wife Anjali, all his colleagues and the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
"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," said Sachin Tendulkar.
"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 revealed that he was shocked initially when he was informed of the honour via email.
"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," he 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."
Fitzpatrick, who was part of Australia's World Cup winning team in 1997 and 2005, said it was a 'huge honour' to be recognised among some of the greats of the sport.
"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.
"Looking back, I can think of many highlights, which include winning the World Cup in 1997 and 2005, but it is a tour of England in 1998 where the Women’s Ashes was conceived that stands out. Playing five ODI’s followed by three Test Matches on a tour lasting six weeks was a time that I felt I was just a cricketer and didn’t have to combine work alongside playing.
"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."
Some career highlights of the inductees:
- His 200 matches, 15,921 runs and 51 centuries are all Test records
- His 463 matches, 18,426 runs and 49 centuries are all ODI records
- The only man to score 100 centuries in all international cricket
- A record 2278 runs and six centuries in ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments
- Won ICC CWC 2011 with India
- The first man to score a double-century in ODI cricket
- The leading run scorer in ICC CWC 1996 and 2003
- He spent 1157 days as the number 1 ranked Test batsman (1994-2011)
- He spent 354 days as the number 1 ranked ODI batsman (1996-2008)
- 72 Tests for South Africa, taking 330 wickets at 22.25 apiece
- 164 ODIs, taking 272 wickets at 21.78 apiece
- Currently fourth-leading wicket-taker in Test cricket for South Africa
- He was the first South African to take 300 Test wickets
- He was the first South African to take 200 ODI wickets
- Until this week, he was South Africa’s leading wicket-taker in World Cup cricket with 38
- Spent 596 days as the number 1 ranked Test bowler (1998-1999)
- Peaked at number 2 in the ICC ODI bowling rankings
- 13 Tests for Australia, taking 60 wickets at 19.11 apiece
- 109 ODIs, taking 180 wickets at 16.79 apiece
- Her 180 ODI wickets were a world record from her retirement in 2003 until May 2017
- Took 33 wickets in 25 ICC Women’s World Cup matches
- Won ICC Women’s World Cup with Australia in 1997 and 2005
- Coached Australia’s Women’s team from May 2012 to May 2015, winning a World Cup and two ICC WWT20 titles
- Spent a women’s record 2113 days as the number 1 ranked ODI bowler (2000-2007)
- Reached 898 points in the Women’s ODI rankings in February 2004 – the highest bowling points tally for any woman