Tendulkar, Donald and Fitzpatrick inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Having retired in November 2013, Tendulkar was inducted as soon as he became eligible, the ICC said. © Getty

India’s Sachin Tendulkar, South Africa’s Allan Donald and Australia’s Cathryn Fitzpatrick were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on Thursday at a ceremony in London.

Tendulkar, who played 200 Tests and holds the record for the most number of Test runs and Test hundreds, became the sixth Indian batsmen to be given the honour and was inducted soon after he became eligible for induction. ICC guidelines dictate that a player be internationally retired for at least five years. Tendulkar played his last Test match in November 2013.

“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,” Tendulkar said.

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Known as ‘White Lightning’, Donald picked 330 wickets in Tests and 272 in ODIs, and was arguably South Africa’s fastest bowler. He played his last international match in February 2003. Fitzpatrick, the eighth woman to win the award, helped Australia win two ICC Women’s Cricket World Cups, and also finished with 60 wickets in 13 Tests. She was the fastest bowler in women’s cricket for a period of 16 years, ending her career with a record 180 wickets in 109 matches.

“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.”

Talking about the induction, Fitzpatrick 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.”