Lisa Sthalekar, Jacques Kallis and Zaheer Abbas inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
Retired cricketers come into the reckoning five years after they played their last international match.
It was a long time coming. On the 23rd of August, three legendary cricketers were inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
All-rounders Jacques Kallis, Lisa Sthalekar and yesteryear run-machine Zaheer Abbas were all honoured in this year’s ceremony. So far, 93 players have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Sunil Gavaskar was joined by Mel Jones, Shaun Pollock and Alan Wilkins in revealing the names for 2020. Gavaskar, a former ICC Hall of Famer was one of the first names to be inducted when it was launched in 2009.
Jacques Kallis, the only cricketer with over 10000 runs and 250 wickets in both Tests and ODI last played international cricket in 2014. He represented South Africa in 166 Tests, 328 ODIs and 25 T20Is as a fast-bowling all-rounder. He scored 13289 runs in Test cricket with 45 hundreds and 11579 in the one-days. As an effective change bowler, he has 292 Test and 273 ODI wickets.
Zaheer Abbas, nicknamed the ‘Asian Bradman’ became the first Asian batsman to score 100 first class hundreds. The 73 year old has 5062 Test runs from 78 matches and 2572 runs from 62 ODIs for Pakistan. Abbas is also the first batsman to score 3 consecutive ODI hundreds.
Pune-born Lisa Sthalekar became the 5th Australian woman and 9th overall to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Compatriots Belinda Clark , Betty Wilson , Karen Rolton  and Cathryn Fitzpatrick  were honoured before Lisa.
Sthalekar was the first woman to achieve the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets in women’s ODIs. She’s a serial winner, having lifted the Women’s World Cup and T20 Women’s World Cup on two occasions each. She retired from the game after collecting her 2013 Women’s World Cup winner’s medal.
Sunil Gavaskar was effusive in his praise for the legendary women’s cricketer. “It’s good to have another ‘Kar’ in the ICC Hall of Fame. Well done. You are an inspiration, not just in Australia but also in India. You have shown with your feistiness that women can play cricket at the highest level.”
A true ambassador
She played 8 Tests, 125 ODIs and 54 T20Is returning impressive all-round numbers. Post retirement, Sthalekar has transitioned into a role in the media. She’s on the commentary panel during the IPL and women’s IPL. During this period she’s been devoted to working with budding female cricketers for the growth of the women’s game.
Establishing herself in the Australian women’s team as a brown-skinned player wasn’t easy for Sthalekar. Speaking on Black Lives Matter, she recollected how she’d navigate past hate when she was subject to racial taunts.
She spent the best part of three years, from 2007-2010 as the No.1 ranked Women’s ODI all-rounder. On being inducted into the Hall of Fame, she said, “I am deeply humbled to receive this honour. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would ever get 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.”