Legendary South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis, Pakistan batting great Zaheer Abbas and Pune-born former Australian captain Lisa Sthalekar were, on Sunday, inducted into the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Hall of Fame.
Among the finest all-rounders to ever play the game, Kallis represented South Africa in 166 Tests, 328 ODIs and 25 T20s between 1995 and 2014.
The 44-year-old is Proteas’ highest run-getter in Tests and ODIs with 13289 and 11579 runs respectively. He also picked up 292 and 273 wickets in Tests and ODIs, respectively, as a fast bowler.
The ICC conducted the ceremony virtually amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It was attended by, among others, Kallis’ longtime teammate Shaun Pollock and Indian great Sunil Gavaskar.
“He is a colossus. The word fits him like a glove. No praise is too high for this colossus. Very well deserved to be in this ICC Hall of Fame,” said Gavaskar, who was inducted into the elite club in 2009.
Gavaskar was also all praise for women’s cricket great Sthalekar.
“It is good to have another ‘Kar’ in the ICC Hall of Fame. Well done. You are an inspiration, not just in Australia also in India (as she was born there).
“You have interacted with many cricketers in India including the junior cricketers. You have shown with your feistiness that women can play at the highest level.”
Sthalekar represented Australia in eight Tests, 125 ODIs and 54 T20s.
The third cricketer to be feted in the ceremony was Abbas, hailed as the ‘Asian Bradman’
“Absolutely delighted. No one deserves it more than him. Don’t know why it took so long but better late than ever. When you saw him bat, even when it was your team’s expense, you enjoyed his batting.
“His class made you enjoy. His hunger for big runs stood out. I am very happy to call him a friend,” said Gavaskar.
Abbas played 78 Tests and 62 ODIs for Pakistan, accumulating 5062 and 2572 runs respectively. He averaged over 40 in both the fomats.