The ICC announces the name of great past cricketers who have now being inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2019 for their stupendous achievements in World cricket. Sachin Tendulkar , Allan Donald and women’s cricketer Cathryn Fitzpatrick gets their due recognition this year.
For Sachin Tendulkar, it was long overdue after he completed the cooling period of completion for 5 years of retirement. Sachin retired in 2013, and hence now eligible. Much has been said and heard about the meastro , who started playing test cricket as a 16 year old vs a strong Pakistan team at their den and never looked back ever since. His consistent achievements as a teenager in his early days endeared him to the Indian cricket public in the 1990s when young Sachin became the mainstay of Indian batting specially in overseas tours where other Indians struggled to cope with pace and bounce those days. The hopes and dissappointments of the Indian public ebbed and flowed with Sachin’s successes and the odd failures. The records and landmarks started to touch his feet with great regularity. Sachin averaged 53 at home and 55 in overseas in Test cricket with more centuries abroad. He was equally at ease on fast ,bouncy pitches as well as slower, spinning tracks and had all the strokes in his batting including his signature straight drives. His bottomhand grip helped him to play the horizontal shots , the cut and pull on bouncy pitches. His much awaited ambition of a World Cup win came in 2011 and he also was a part of the great test series win over the greatest team during his era- Australia in 2001. Most of the leading fast bowlers and spinners during his era rated him as the best which included the great Shane Warne and Allan Donald himself. 15921 runs in 200 tests with 51 100s , 18426 runs in 463 ODIs with 49 100s are current World records. He is the only player to score 100 international tons. With 2278 runs and 6 100s he stands at the top of World Cup records of highest runs tally. The 1st ever player to score double hundred in ODIs. All on all a great achievement for a tremendous player who could sustain his hunger for 23 years at top level which itself is a massive achievement. Sachin is a remarkable human being, and a great ambassador to the game. A jewel in the crown of Indian cricket.
Allan Donald , the ” white lightning ” as he is famously known, made his international debut in South Africa’s much awaited international comeback at Eden Gardens Kolkata in 1991 after their apartheid regime in front of 1 lac filled capacity. The sight of a tall and slim fast bowler running in with his rhythmic and straight runup ,uncoiling himself at delivery stride to unleash his thunderbolts with his face smitten with Zinc oxide became South Africa’s signature image on their international comeback and remained ever since with Donald’s glittering career. That ODI at Eden Gardens saw him make an immediate mark at international level when he singlehandedly got South Africa back in the game with hostile fast bowling ,ripping through the Indian lineup with 5/29 as India chased a modest score of 177. It was Tendulkar’s knock (62) which saved India the blushes as they scraped through by 3 wickets. Sachin was also one of Donald’s victims that day. Both were joint “man of the match” in that game. That match launched Donald to a great decade long career . One of the fastest ever fast bowlers and certainly the fastest by some distance between 1991 to 1998 till arrival of Shoaib Akhtar. Donald was the architect of many a South African triumph after their international return. His pace and subtle movement was at times unplayable on South African pitches and posed big challenge in overseas including Indian subcontinent where he was part of subcontinent series wins. Some of his memorable spells to Sachin Tendulkar , Brian Lara and Mike Atherton were a part of invaluable cricket archives. Donald took 330 test wickets in 72 tests at 22 average and 47 strike rate and 272 ODI wickets in 164 ODIs at 21 average which are tremendous figures. He was the 1st South African to reach 300 test wickets and 200 ODI wickets . Inspite of all his achievements, a win in a test series against the best team of his era , Australia and a World cup title (after that semifinal heartbreak in 1999) remained elusive. As one of the finest of his era , Allan Donald will go down as one of the greatest fast bowlers of all times.
With their continued efforts to popularise women’s cricket ,ICC have bestowed the hall of fame to Cathryn Fitzpatrick, regarded one of the all time best fast bowlers in women’s cricket . With 60 wicket in 13 test at 19 average and 180 wickets in 109 ODIs at 16 average and 2 World cup titles in 1997 and 2005, Fitzpatrick has been one of the top icons in history of women’s cricket. A highly deserved accolade.