Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar has been inducted into the International Cricket Council's Hall of Fame alongside South African pace legend Allan Donald.
Joining Tendulkar and Donald in the Hall of Fame was two-time World Cup-winning Australian woman cricketer Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
“It is an honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, which cherishes the contribution of cricketers over generations. They have all contributed to the growth and popularity of the game and I am happy to have done my bit,” Tendulkar said at the induction ceremony held in London on Sunday night.
He thanked his family and coach, who has supported him in his journey in international cricket for close to two and half decades.
"“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.”" - Sachin Tendulkar
Tendulkar, the most prolific batsman in history, was inducted immediately after becoming eligible for induction, which requires that a player should have played his last international match at least five years before.
Has there ever been a cricketer quite like Sachin Tendulkar?— ICC (@ICC) July 19, 2019
Last night, he was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame alongside Allan Donald and Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
Watch some of his career highlights ⬇️ #ICCHallOfFame pic.twitter.com/1Nq8Y3rqTn
The 46-year-old former right-hand batsman is regarded the greatest to have played the game along with Sir Donald Bradman and remains the top run-accumulator in both Tests and ODIs.
Tendulkar, who retired in November 2013, tallied 15,921 runs in Tests and 18,426 in ODIs, both of which remain records. He is the sixth Indian to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
"“I am also thankful to all my captains, fellow players and the BCCI and the MCA administrators over the years for their support and for making me enjoy the game so much and for so long. I thank the ICC for this appreciation of my cricket career and I am happy to note that cricket continues to grow with three popular formats.”" - Sachin Tendulkar
The 52-year-old Donald is one of the finest bowlers to have played the game and had 330 Test and 272 ODI wickets to his credit before calling it quits in 2003.
Fitzpatrick is the second highest wicket-taker of all time in women's cricket with 180 ODI scalps and 60 in Tests. As a coach, she guided the Australian women's team to three World Cup titles.
Donald, known as the 'White Lightening', was arguably South Africa's fastest bowler ever and finished with 330 Test and 272 ODI wickets. He is one of the players credited with South Africa's success in the game after their return to international cricket in 1991.
Fitzpatrick, the eighth woman to win the award, was the fastest bowler in women's cricket for a period of 16 years, ending her career with 180 wickets in 109 matches, a record then. She helped Australia win two ICC Women's Cricket World Cups and finished with 60 wickets in 13 Tests.
"The product's always been great, we just needed people to see it!"— ICC (@ICC) July 19, 2019
New Hall of Fame inductee Cathryn Fitzpatrick speaks to @ZAbbasOfficial about bowling fast and the changes in the women's game.
"“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.”" - Allan Donald
ICC Chief Executive Manu Sawhney said: "It is a great honour for us to announce the 2019 inductees into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Sachin, Allan and Cathryn are three of the finest players to ever grace our game and are deserved additions to the Hall of Fame.
"On behalf of the ICC, I would like to congratulate all three players, who enrich the list of all-time greats already members of this select club," added Sawhney.
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