India's Sachin Tendulkar, South Africa's Allan Donald and Australia's Cathryn Fitzpatrick were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on Thursday at a ceremony in London.
Sachin Tendulkar was finally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame on Thursday at a ceremony in London as he became the sixth Indian to be given the honour. South Africa's Allan Donald and Australia's Cathryn Fitzpatrick were also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Sunil Gavaskar, Bishan Singh Bedi, Kapil Dev, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble are the other five.
Tendulkar, who played 200 Tests and has scored the most number of runs in Test cricket, was inducted a soon as he became eligible for induction on Monday. The late induction is because of the ICC guidelines which say that a player cannot be inducted into the Hall of Fame until and unless it has been five years since he has retired. Tendulkar's last game was in November 2013 at the Wankhede against West Indies.
"On this occasion, I would like to thank all of those who were by my side over a long international career. My parents, brother Ajit and wife Anjali have been pillars of strength while I was lucky to have someone like coach Ramakant Achrekar as an early guide and mentor," Tendulkar said.
Donald was also present at the occasion and his achievements in international cricket were also honoured. The right-arm fast bowler picked up 330 wickets in 72 Tests and 272 wickets in 164 ODIs. He played his last international game in February 2003.
"The biggest shock when you open an e-mail like that - it says congratulations Allan Donald, you have been inducted in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame! It hits you, it hits you quite hard because it is a prestigious award and something that you can't take lightly. I thank the ICC for the huge honour," Donald said.
"It all immediately takes you back to where you started. The reflection is of such a nature that everything that you have done in your career since you were a little boy starts to creep into your head. There are so many people to thank who have influenced my life - as mentors, as coaches.
Australia's Fitzpatrick became the eighth woman to win the award. She played a key role in the Aussies winning two ICC Women's Cricket World Cups and finished with 60 wickets from 13 Test matches. She was also the fastest bowler in women's cricket for over 15 years and ended her career with a record 180 wickets in 109 matches.
"If I start with Free State cricket back in the day, then the legendary Hansie Cronje's dad Mr Ewie Cronje, helped me through school and college cricket and then there was my uncle Des Donald who was very hard on me. Bob Woolmer was a mentor, we clicked in international cricket and he showed me the road to success," he added.
"To gain recognition alongside many of the games' giants is a huge honour. I look at the list of past inductees and what stands out most is not only their outstanding talent but that they were game-changers. They took the game on and changed the way it was played," Fitzpatrick said.