LONDON: Former batting legend Zaheer Abbas has become the sixth Pakistani cricketer to join the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame, the governing body said on Sunday.
Zaheer, 73, a prolific run-scorer during the 1970s and 1980s with both Pakistan and English county side Gloucestershire, was nicknamed the “Asian Bradman” in honour of Australia’s Don Bradman, widely regarded as Test cricket’s greatest batsman of all time.
In a press release, the ICC said that the announcement was made during a show streamed live on the council’s social media channels. “In all, 93 players have been inducted so far under the system, which sees retired players become eligible five years after playing their last international match.”
In addition to Abbas, South Africa’s gritty all-rounder Jacques Kallis and Australian World Cup-winning all-rounder Lisa Sthalekar were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
In comments posted to the ICC’s website, Abbas, a former president of the global governing body and the only player from Asia to have scored a hundred first-class hundreds. said that he felt “privileged and truly humbled”.
“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 fulfill my dreams by playing this great game at the highest level.
Congratulating Abbas on his inclusion to the ICC’s Hall of Fame, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani said it was a matter of “great honour and pride” for the country that the cricketer’s outstanding career achievements had been acknowledged by the game’s governing body.
According to the PCB, Abbas joins compatriots Hanif Mohammad, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis in the ICC Hall of Fame. The ICC Hall of Fame includes 27 Australia cricketers, 28 England players, six India cricketers, three from New Zealand, four from South Africa, one Sri Lankan and 18 players from the West Indies, it said.
Batting icon Sachin Tendulkar of India, South Africa’s pace bowling legend Allan Donald and former Australia woman fast bowler Cathryn Fitzpatrick were on Thursday inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at a ceremony in London.
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. 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.
Speaking on the occasion, Tendulkar, 46, said it was indeed a source of honour getting added on the ICC Hall of Fame. “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,” the right-handed batting maestro said at the London ceremony.