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Zaheer Abbas, Jacques Kallis, Lisa Sthalekar inducted into ICC Hall of Fame
Hall of Fame

Zaheer Abbas, Jacques Kallis, Lisa Sthalekar inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Legendary Pakistan batsman Zaheer Abbas, South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis and Australia women's great Lisa Sthalekar have become the latest inductees into the ICC's Hall of Fame.

The three individuals were added into the prestigious list of past cricketing heroes in an official online ceremony conducted by the ICC.

Their inclusions were decided upon by an adjudicating panel comprising a majority of previous Hall of Fame members and some representation from the media, ICC and Federation of International Cricketers' Association (FICA).

Widely considered to be one of the most elegant batsmen to play the game, Zaheer was a prolific run-getter for his country during the 1970s and 1980s.

He also represented English county side Gloucestershire for a long period of time as he churned out a plethora of runs for them.

He was nicknamed the 'Asian Bradman' in honour of Australia's Don Bradman, who finished his Test career with an average of 99.94.

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

The 73-year-old has remained a former president of the global cricketing body and is till date the only player from Asia to amass a hundred first-class centuries.

Zaheer's otherworldly levels of excellence can be summed up the unique record of smashing a double-century and a century in the same first-class match on four occasions.

His regal status extended to the limited-overs format as well when he became the first batsman to score three consecutive hundreds in ODIs.

"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," he said as he is now the sixth Pakistani in the Hall of Fame.

"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."

The 44-year-old Kallis was a champion batsman and equally consistent with the ball in hand. He is the only cricketer to accumulate at least 10,000 runs and register 250 wickets in both Test and ODI cricket.

Kallis marked his dominance by earning the ICC player of the year and ICC Test player of the year in 2005. He is South Africa's leading run-getter in Tests and third on the all-time list.

"It is something that I never expected when I started playing," said Kallis. "I only wanted to win the games for whoever I was playing for."

Australia off-spinner Sthalekar, who was born in Pune, India, became the first woman to achieve the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in ODI cricket.

She was also a member of Australia's white-ball outfits that clinched the 2005 and 2013 Women's World Cups and the Women's T20 World Cup in 2010 and 2012.

"Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would ever get to join such an illustrious group of players," she stated.

"These are all players with a legacy that will continue to inspire future generations for years to come," said ICC chief executive Manu Sawhney.

"I congratulate Zaheer, Jacques and Lisa on their inclusion in the pantheon of cricket greats."