Legendary India batsman Rahul Dravid, on Sunday, was inducted into the ICC hall of fame along with former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting and England wicketkeeper Claire Taylor.
The former India skipper became the fifth player from the country to be inducted in the prestigious list if cricketers. The other four Indians are – Bishan Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar and Anil Kumble.
Regarded as one of the finest players of all time, Dravid is the fourth highest run-scorer in Tests. He scored a staggering 13,288 runs in 164 Tests at an average of over 50. His record in the 50-over format is equally impressive. In 344 ODIs, he accumulated 10,889 runs and sits at ninth on the overall run-scorers chart. He was also the ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2004 alongside being named the best Test cricketer for the same year.
— ICC (@ICC) July 1, 2018
Dravid began his first-class career in 1999 against Maharashtra. In his very first innings, he scored 82 as he finished the season with 434 runs at an average of 48.22. He enjoyed a breakthrough season in 1995-96 when he amassed 968 runs. It was soon followed by the ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Singapore in April 1996.
But it was his Test debut in the same year that made people take notice of him. Against a quality English attack at the iconic Lord’s, he began his Test career with a sublime 95-run knock. He scored his maiden ton in the following year against South Africa at the Wanderers.
4 years later, Dravid players perhaps the most defining innings f his career in the 2001 Test series against Australia at Eden Gardens. He and VVS Laxman had scripted a stunning turnaround with a stand of 376 as India came from behind to register a memorable 171-run win. Dravid had scored 180 while Laxman had hit 281. Dravid went on to make vital contributions in some major overseas wins like the Leeds Test in 2002, Adelaide in 2002-03, Rawalpindi in 2004, and Jamaica in 2006.
He also enjoyed good success during his short captaincy stint. He led India to Test series wins in the West Indies in 2006 and England in 2007. Famously known as ‘The Wall’, he brought down curtains on his career in 2012.
“It’s a great honour and privilege to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I’m thankful to the ICC for giving me this honour. It’s a privilege to be in a group of people I have looked up to and I have admired as a young man growing up in my journey as a cricketer. I love to be able to thank so many people who have made it possible for me to have a career in this sport and to fulfil my dreams,” he said in a video message.
“My parents, my young family, my wife and two kids, my so many friends, colleagues that I have played with and played against who have enriched my game, my many coaches right from the time I was a boy in school and the coaches that I have played for India have really helped me develop my potential. I would not be here if not for the support and love that they have given me and I’m truly thankful and grateful for it.”
Dravid is currently in England as coach of the India A team. As a result, he could not attend his inclusion in the Hall of Fame.
“Unfortunately, I’m not there to receive this honour because of my commitments with India A and the coaching duties that I have. But once again, I’m really grateful, I’m humbled to be able to receive this honour. It’s a privilege and something that I’ll hold very dear to my heart,” he said.
Ponting, another all time great, also scored over 10,000 runs in both the formats. In Tests, he scored 13,378 runs with the help of 41 tons. In ODIs, he scored 13,704 runs along with leading Australia to two World Cup titles. He also led Australia to a record 26 consecutive unbeaten World Cup matches from 2003 to 2011. The legendary captain also led the side to victory in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2006 and 2009.
In 2006 and 2007, he won the award for the ICC Cricketer of the year.
“I feel deeply honoured to be recognised by the ICC in this way. I loved every moment of my journey as a player and am so very proud of the team and personal achievements along the way.
“These would not have been possible without the help of so many people including my teammates, coaches and support staff that played such an integral part in my playing career. I would like to especially thank my family for their constant support and direction. Honours like this are just as much for them as it is for me,” Ponting said.
Taylor, on the other hand, scored 1030 runs at an average of 41.20 in Tests. She also compiled 4101 runs in 126 ODIs and 615 in 21 T20Is.
“It’s a great honour to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame alongside some of the greatest names of the men’s and women’s game from across the world and throughout the generations, players who I looked up to during my playing career and hold in great esteem.
“I would like to thank everyone who helped me achieve my dreams of success with England, particularly my parents for their support from my early days in the game, Mark Lane for his coaching wisdom, the ECB for their support of the national team, my team-mates and support staff and my colleagues at SUMS Consulting, for their flexibility and confidence that I could deliver success both on and off the field over the last five years of my international cricket career,” she said.