One of Australia’s greatest fast bowlers, Dennis Lillee, was formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at the tea interval on the second day of the third Test between Australia and the West Indies in Perth.
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.
A commemorative cap was presented to Lillee by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Director and Cricket Australia Chairman Jack Clarke in front of large and appreciative crowd at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground (WACA). He was then driven around the oval in an open top vehicle to allow his home fans to show their appreciation for the legendary fast bowler.
Lillee was the heart of Australia bowling attack for more than a decade after making his debut in January 1971 against England in Adelaide where he made his mark by taking 5-124.
He went on to play 70 Tests for Australia, taking 355 Test wickets. He took five wickets in an innings 23 times and 10 wickets in a match seven times.
He bowled with much hostility and unrelenting determination. It was this determination that enabled him to recover from serious stress fractures he suffered early in his career. Together with Jeff Thomson, he formed one of the most feared and lethal bowling combinations of all-time.
He was an enigma for England as he took 167 Test wickets at an average of 21.00 in the Ashes.
As tail-ender, who played with a straight bat, his best Test innings was 73 not out against England at Lord’s in 1975.
After retiring from international cricket, he became a noted fast bowling coach and currently works with youngsters at an academy in Chennai.
Upon receiving his commemorative cap, Lillee said: “To be adjudged or put in the same stratosphere as the initial 55 ICC Hall of Famers, whom I idolised and read about as a kid is incredible and not something I would have thought possible.
“It’s also a real pleasure to be receiving my cap in front of my home crowd here at the WACA who have always been so supportive of my career.”
The cap presentation ceremony is a key part of the celebrations to mark the ICC’s centenary year as it acknowledges the greats of the game and the contributions they have made to ensure cricket is a great sport with a great spirit.
*ICC Cricket Hall of Fame – initial inductees (55):
Sydney Barnes, Bishan Bedi, Alec Bedser, Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Donald Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Denis Compton, Colin Cowdrey, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Lance Gibbs, Graham Gooch, David Gower, WG Grace, Tom Graveney, Gordon Greenidge, Richard Hadlee, Walter Hammond, Neil Harvey, George Headley, Jack Hobbs, Michael Holding, Leonard Hutton, Rohan Kanhai, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Jim Laker, Harold Larwood, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Clive Lloyd, Hanif Mohammad, Rodney Marsh, Malcolm Marshall, Peter May, Javed Miandad, Keith Miller, Bill O’Reilly, Graeme Pollock, Wilfred Rhodes, Barry Richards, Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts, Garfield Sobers, Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Woolley, Frank Worrell.
ICC Cricket Hall of Fame – new inductees for 2009-10
Wasim Akram, Clarrie Grimmett, Herbert Sutcliffe, Victor Trumper and Steve Waugh.
For more information on the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame please visit www.icc-halloffame.com
About the ICC centenary year
ICC President David Morgan and Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat officially launched the ICC centenary year in Sydney, Australia on 2 January by announcing the formation of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, in association with FICA.
The ICC’s centenary year of 2009 is a global celebration with events taking place around the world to reflect all that is great about the game.
On the field these events include the ICC Women’s World Cup (won by England), the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (won by Ireland), the ICC World Twenty20 event for men and women (won by Pakistan and England respectively) and the ICC Champions Trophy (won by Australia).
And off the field there will be the opening of the ICC Global Cricket Academy and the inauguration of the ICC’s new headquarters, both of which are in Dubai.
The ICC will also be celebrating the contribution of volunteers across the world through the award of 1,000 centenary medals and will announce new developments to its social responsibility partnership on HIV/AIDS.
During the course of 2009, each of the ICC’s 104 Members will be hosting activities inspired by the special spirit of cricket as part of the global Catch the Spirit centenary celebration.
To promote this theme and the launch of the ICC’s centenary year website, www.catchthespirit.com, stars of the international game have named their “Catch the Spirit” moments which best encapsulate the spirit of cricket.
Among those stars that can be seen on the website, Yuvraj Singh of India speaks of his experiences in Pakistan – India matches and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis reflects on his side’s famous chase of 438 to beat Australia in an ODI in Johannesburg.