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Monday, April 15, 2024

Zaheer Abbas inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Pakistan batting great, Zaheer Abbas, outstanding South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis and Australia women's star Lisa Sthalekar were all inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Pakistan batting great, Zaheer Abbas, outstanding South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis and Australia women’s star Lisa Sthalekar were all inducted into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame on Sunday.

Zaheer Abbas ICC, Hall of Fame 

Zaheer, 73, a prolific run-scorer during the 1970s and 1980s with both Pakistan and English county side Gloucestershire, was nicknamed the ‘Asian Bradman’ in honour of Australia’s Don Bradman, widely regarded as Test cricket’s greatest batsman of all time.

“I feel privileged and truly humbled to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame of the class of 2020,” said Zaheer, a former president of the global governing body and the only player from Asia to have scored a hundred first-class hundreds.

Final recognition

Zaheer scored a double-century and a century in the same first-class match on a record four occasions and was the first batsman to score three successive centuries in one-day international cricket.

“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,” he said.

“Thank you, ICC, and the members of the jury, for this special honour. It is a final recognition for any cricketer. This great game has made me the person I am.”

Kallis, 44, is the only player to score at least 10,000 runs and take at least 250 wickets in both Test and ODI cricket.

The ICC player of the Year and ICC Test player of the year in 2005, Kallis is also South Africa’s leading Test run-scorer, and currently third on the all-time list.

“It is something that I never expected when I started playing,” said Kallis, the most capped South African player in both Test and ODI cricket. “I only wanted to win the games for whoever I was playing for.”

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Pantheon of greats in ICC Hall of Fame  

India-born off-spinner Sthalekar, 41, was the first woman to achieve the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in ODI cricket. She was also a member of the Australia teams that won the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2005 and 2013 and the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 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,” said Sthalekar as she thanked her team-mates.

Kallis is the fourth South African player inducted and Zaheer the sixth from Pakistan. Sthalekar is the ninth women’s cricketer in the list.

In all, 93 players have been inducted so far under the system in which players become eligible five years after playing their last international match.

Hall of Fame members formed the majority of the adjudicating panel with representation from the media, ICC and Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA).

ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney: “These are all players with a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations for years to come.

“I congratulate Zaheer, Jacques and Lisa on their inclusion in the pantheon of cricket greats.”

Congratulations to Zaheer Abbas on ICC recognition  

Congratulating Abbas on his inclusion to the ICC’s Hall of Fame, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani said it was a matter of “great honour and pride” for the country that the cricketer’s outstanding career achievements had been acknowledged by the game’s governing body.

“It gives me immense pleasure to congratulate Zaheer on behalf of millions of Pakistani cricket fans across the world for this recognition.

“I am sure all those who watched Zaheer live in action will agree that when he batted, it was like a poetry in motion.

“It was his immaculate footwork backed up by superlative wrist work with an ability to consistently bisect the field that not only made him a run-machine but also one of the most attractive and graceful batsmen ever to grace this great game.”

Abbas joins cricketing legends in the ICC Hall of Fame 

According to the PCB, Abbas joins compatriots Hanif Mohammad, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in the ICC Hall of Fame.

The ICC Hall of Fame includes 27 Australia cricketers, 28 England players, six India cricketers, three from New Zealand, four from South Africa, one Sri Lankan and 18 players from the West Indies, it said.

GVS News Desk with input from AFP