Former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis, former Australia World Cup-winning all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar and former Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas of Pakistan were on Sunday inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made during a show streamed live on ICC’s social media channels, where the three legends shared their feelings on being bestowed with the honour and reminisced about their playing days.
The show, hosted by commentator Alan Wilkins, featured retired greats Sunil Gavaskar, Melanie Jones and Shaun Pollock as the main guests and had Wasim Akram, Graeme Smith and Alyssa Healy join in to congratulate and appreciate the 2020 inductees.
“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," Kallis said in an ICC press release.
“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.”
Sthalekar said she was humbled by the honour, adding that she was fortunate to be able to learn from the best while also thanking her family for their support.
“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.
“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.”
Abbas said that he felt privileged to be honoured in such a way, adding that it was the ‘final recognition’ for any cricketer.
“I feel privileged and truly humbled to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame of the class of 2020. 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 fulfil 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.”