Former Indian captain Rahul Dravid has been inducted into the prestigious ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting and retired England women wicketkeeper-batter Claire Taylor were also inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame at Dublin on Sunday.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said that this was their way of “honouring the greats of our game”.
Rahul “The Wall” Dravid
Known as “The Wall” by cricket fans across the world, Rahul Dravid’s impeccable batting technique meant that he would keep his wicket intact even as others were losing theirs at regular intervals.
Named ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC Test Player of the World in 2004, Dravid scored 13,288 runs in 164 Tests with 36 centuries. He hit 12 centuries and scored 10,889 runs in 344 ODIs.
He was part of the formidable Indian batting line-up that had Sachin Tendulkar, Saurav Ganguly, and the elegant VVS Laxman. In March 2001, he came together with Laxman in a memorable partnership of 376 that ensured India’s victory over Australia at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Laxman scored 281; Dravid pitched in with a solid 180 to help India to a score of 657/7 declared after being forced to follow-on; India won the match by 171 runs.
A very reliable slip fielder, Dravid also holds the world record for the maximum number of catches at 210.
Reacting to his induction into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, he said, “To find your name in a list of all-time greats across generations is something one only dreams of while setting out on a cricket career and the kind of recognition that would delight any player”.
Dravid, incidentally, is the head coach of the young Indian team that won the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in February this year.
Dravid is only the fifth Indian cricketer to make it to the list of cricket luminaries from across the world.
Here is a brief profile of the other Indian cricketers who have been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame over the years.
Anil Kumble (2015)
The right-hand leg spinner played international cricket between 1990 and 2008, taking a mind-boggling 619 Test wickets, the highest by any Indian till date!
Fondly referred to as “Jumbo” by his teammates, he became only the second bowler in Test history to take all wickets in an innings (versus Pakistan at the Ferozeshah Kotla, Delhi, in 1999).
Born in Bangalore (now Bengaluru) in Karnataka on 17 October 1970, Kumble also has a Test century to his name. He played 132 Tests, captaining India in 14 of them, and 269 ODIs. He made it to the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2015.
Kapil Dev (2010)
Kapil Dev, the best bowling all-rounder that India has produced, was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2010. He rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ian Botham (England), Imran Khan (Pakistan), and Richard Hadlee (New Zealand) – all of them dominated with the ball as well as the bat.
He was the captain of the Indian team that won the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time in 1983. Kapil’s Devils, as the team was popularly referred to, defeated reigning world champions West Indies in a memorable final.
He had earlier scored an unbeaten 175 against Zimbabwe during the league stage, playing what is considered to be one of greatest knocks in ODI history.
Born on 6 January 1959 in Chandigarh, Kapil Dev made his Test debut for India in 1978 and was the team’s main strike bowler for most his career. He had a career haul of 434 Test wickets, which was a world record at that time.
Bishan Singh Bedi (2009)
Part of the famous Indian spin quartet along with EAS Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar, and S Venkatraghavan, he starred in many an unlikely Indian Test victory against fancied opponents in the 1960s and 70s.
Bedi, an orthodox left-arm spinner, played 67 Test matches and took 266 wickets. This was the highest by any Indian spinner till Anil Kumble overtook him. Bedi represented India between 1966 and 1979; he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009.
Sunil Gavaskar (2009)
Sunil ‘Sunny’ Gavaskar burst on to the international cricket scene in 1971, when he made his Test debut against the formidable West Indian team. Four centuries, including a double century, against a feared fast-bowling attack forced the world to sit up and take note.
By the time he hung up his boots in 1987, Gavaskar had played 125 Test matches for India. He held the record for the most number of runs by an Indian batsman in this format (10,122 runs with 34 centuries at an average of 51.12) before Sachin Tendulkar crossed the milestone. He represented India in 108 ODIs, scoring 3,092 runs at an average of 35.13.
Blessed with an impeccable technique, he is considered one of the best opening batsmen of all time. He had a good run in ODIs towards the end of his career. He was the captain of the Indian team that won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985, defeating Pakistan comprehensively in the final.
Gavaskar was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2009, the same year that Bedi was.