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Kallis, Sthalekar and Abbas inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

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

South Africa’s gritty all-rounder Jacques Kallis and talented Australian World Cup-winning all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar were joined by Zaheer Abbas of Pakistan, a stylish batsman of the 1970s and 80s who was also known as the Asian Bradman, were inducted into ICC's Hall of Fame. Picture: ICC

JOHANNESBURG - The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Sunday announced the three inductees into the 2020 Hall of Fame.

Former Proteas all-rounder Jaques Kallis, Australia’s Lisa Sthalekar, and Pakistan's Zaheer Abbas were all inducted for their achievements in sport. The announcement was made during a show streamed live on ICC’s social media channels, where the legends shared their feelings on being bestowed with the honour and reminisced about their playing days.

Kallis is the fourth South African inducted while Abbas becomes the sixth from Pakistan.

Sthalekar is the 27th player from Australia to receive the recognition and the ninth woman, overall.

The three’s induction now takes to 93 the number of players who have been instated under the system.

The recognition is awarded to retired players, who become eligible five years after playing their last international match.

The adjudicating panel that decides who receives the honour is made up of former ICC Cricket Hall of Famers as well as media representatives, ICC and Federation of International Cricketers’ Association (FICA).

Reflecting on his induction, Kallis said: “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”.

ICC chief executive, Manu Sawhney, added: “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.”

For Sthalekar, she says she is “humbled to receive this honour”. Adding that: “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. 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”.

“I feel privileged and truly humbled to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame of the class of 2020,” Zaheer Abbas said.

“I am excited to be in the midst of other illustrious cricketers. 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 fulfill my dreams by playing this great game at the highest level.

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. Thank you cricket.”