One of the most successful leg-spinners of all time, Anil Kumble has been inducted in the ICC Hall of Fame. The third highest wicket-taker in Tests, Kumble is only the fourth Indian to have received this honour.
Anil Kumble took 619 wickets in Test cricket and remains the third-highest wicket taker—only behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Shane Warne—as of 2012. He played 132 tests picking up 619 wickets at a striking bowling average of 29.65. Kumble was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour in 2005. After having played for 18 years, he announced his retirement from international cricket in November 2008. Read 10 jumbo facts about Anil Kumble.
The ceremony took place between the innings break during the India-South Africa World Cup clash at the MCG today. Alongside Kumble, Betty Wilson, one of the greatest women’s cricketers of all-time, was also conferred with the honour posthumously.
Betty Wilson, a former Australia player, played 11 Tests in the 1947-1958 era, amassing 862 runs at average of 57.4 and took 68 wickets at 11.8 per wicket. Wilson died on 22 January 2010 at the age of 88.
In an effort to recognise the achievements of the legends of the game from cricket’s long and illustrious history ICC launched the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009 as part of the ICC’s centenary celebrations. The initial inductees were the 55 players included in the FICA Hall of Fame which ran from 1999 to 2003, but further members are added each year.
The ICC has laid down strict criteria for the induction into the elite league. For a batsman to qualify, he should have recorded at least 8,000 runs and 20 hundreds in any of the two major formats (Tests and One-Day Internationals) or should average over 50 in either. Bowlers must have more than 200 wickets to their name in any one of the formats – however their strike-rate in Tests should be 50 and 30 in ODIs. Stumpers may qualify if they have accounted for 200 dismissals in either or both the formats. For captains, the ICC’s qualification is as follows, “A captain must have led his side in at least 25 Tests and/or 100 ODIs with a win percentage of 50 per cent or more in either or both.
The only Indians recognized by the ICC meeting the above criteria are Bishan Singh Bedi, Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev (inducted in 2009) and now Anil Kumble, along with 26 Englishmen, 22 Australians and 17 West Indians. It remains a mystery as to why the likes of Gundappa Viswanath, Erapalli Prasanna, Tiger Pataudi, Vinood Mankad, Subhash Gupte, Dilip Vengsarkar, Lala Amarnath, Syed Kirmani and Vijay Merchant find no mention in this selected league of extraordinary gentlemen.
Kumble and Wilson will be the 77th and 78th inductees into the Hall of Fame.
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