Gavaskar, Bedi, Kapil get into ICC Hall of Fame

England dominate the list of 55 inductees


The ICC, while announcing Colin Cowdrey as the 19th cricketer to be formally inducted in its elite list of cricket greats, provided the list of persons who have been chosen for the Hall of Fame, but yet to be formally inducted.

The list contains 22 Englishmen, 11 Australians, 13 West Indians, three each from India, Pakistan and two South Africans and a lone New Zealander.

Apparently the list does not contain cricketers who have retired post-1995.

“The Hall of Fame, run in association with the Federation of International Cricketers Associations (FICA), recognises some of the truly great players from cricket’s long and illustrious history”, ICC said while naming former England captain Cowdrey and its first chairman as its 19th formal inductee.

The world governing council for the game, celebrating its centenary year, also said that further cap presentations will be made during the course of the year and a limited number of inductees, in addition to the 55 already chosen, will be named during 2009.

Strangely, none from Sri Lanka has been found good enough to make the list though the island nation has won the World Cup, ICC’s showpiece event, in 1996.

Even from among Indian cricketers the list does not include CK Nayudu, Lala Amarnath, Vijay Merchant, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Polly Umrigar, Subash Gupte, Erapalli Prasanna, Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Gundappa Viswanath and Dilip Vengsarkar, to name a few.

Among the Englishmen the name of Dr W G Grace, one of the pioneers of the game, has been included but not Ranjitsinhji, the erstwhile Jamsaheb of Nawanagar, who invented the leg glance, scored close to 1000 runs for England and averaged marginally below 45 in 15 Tests.

More than anything Ranji’s name has been permanently associated with Indian cricket with the national championship being named after him.

Also missing is his nephew Duleepsinhji, who too played for England in pre-independence days and scored close to 1000 runs in only 12 Tests at a high average of 58-plus.

In his memory, the Cricket Board is conducting the inter-zonal championship, once considered as the main selection trials for Tests, since the early 1960s.

From neighbouring Pakistan, only the redoubtable Hanif Mohammed, Imran Khan and Javed Miandad have made the grade. Among the notable absentees is Fazal Mehmood.
The master of swing and cut had brought England to its knees in the Oval Test on Pakistan’s very first tour of Old Blighty in 1954 with a haul of 12-99 (6 for 53 and 6 for 46).

The Pakistani pace ace later bowled his country to a famous victory over the mightly Australians at home in their very first encounter in the 1956-57 series at Karachi with a fabulous haul of 13 for 114 in 75 overs.

Even from among the list of Englishmen, Australians and West Indians named so far, there are some glaring omissions.

Apart from giving the short shrift to Ranji and Duleep, the ICC has also ignored the credentials of Herbert Sutcliffe, Bill Edrich, Maurice Tate, Godfrey Evans, Hedley Verity, Douglas Jardine, Ken Barrington, Ted Dexter and Bob Willis.

Victor Trumper, considered to be the greatest Australian batsman before the advent of Donald Bradman and a master of playing on “stickies”, is not in the list.

Also absent are Stan McCabe, Clarrie Grimmett, Bill Ponsford, Arthur Morris, Lindsay Hassett, Bob Simpson, Doug Walters, Graham McKenzie and Alan Davidson.

From the Rainbow Nation of South Africa only Graeme Pollock and his erstwhile team-mate Barry Richards have made it to the list.

Great all-rounder Richard Hadlee is the lone representative from New Zealand in the 55-member club.

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