Former South African gritty all-rounder Jacques Kallis, former Australian women’s captain Lisa Sthalekar and former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas have been inducted into the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame. 

The three retired greats of the game were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during an absorbing show broadcast around the world via ICC digital channels on Sunday. 

The show, hosted by commentator Alan Wilkins, featured retired greats Sunil Gavaskar, Melanie Jones and Shaun Pollock as the main guests and had Wasim Akram, Graeme Smith and Alyssa Healy join in to congratulate and appreciate the 2020 inductees.

Congratulating the trio for receiving the honour, ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said, “It is always a pleasure to announce the latest set of inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. 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.” 

Kallis said that he has never played the game for any accolades, but he feels really proud to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.

“It’s a great honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. It is something that I never expected when I started playing. 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, something that I am really proud of,” the ICC press release quoted Kallis as saying.

Lisa Sthalekar, on the other hand, said that she feels priveleged to join such an illustrious group of players. 

“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 teammates along the way kept me focused but also ensured that it was a fun environment. Thanks to all my teammates. It goes without saying that if it wasn’t for the support of my family, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve what I have,” she added.

Meanwhile, Zaheer Abbas thanked his national side, his county Gloucestershire and his fans to help him achieve and fulfill his dream of playing the game at the highest level.

“I feel privileged and truly humbled to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame of the class of 2020. I am excited to be in the midst of other illustrious cricketers.
…This great game has made me the person I am. Thank you cricket,”Abbas said.

Kallis is the fourth South African player inducted and Zaheer the sixth from Pakistan. Lisa is the 27th from Australia and the ninth woman player in the list, which includes five from Australia. 

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

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