Dubai, July 31 (ANI): Legendary England bowler Sydney Barnes has been inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
On day one of the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston, Barnes's granddaughter Penelope Bailey received his commemorative cap from ICC President David Morgan for his induction into the Hall of Fame*, a joint venture between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA).
Barnes was born in 1873 and is regarded as one of the most creative and feared bowlers in cricket history, with his ability to combine swing, seam and spin at a medium-fast pace. He passed away on December 26, 1967 at the age of 94.
The Staffordshire-born bowler, who has a gate named after him at Edgbaston, played 27 Test matches for England and took 189 wickets at an average of just 16.43 - that's a remarkable rate of seven wickets per Test. In one purple patch, he took 49 wickets at an average of 10.93 in four Tests on the 1913-14 tour to South Africa, a world record for wickets in a Test series. This included a match haul of 17-159 in the second Test in Johannesburg.
Barnes remains the only England player to be selected for national duty while playing league and minor county cricket only. He was selected to make his Test debut against Australia in Sydney at the first Ashes Test on 13 December 1901 and proceeded to take figures of 6-139. In his final match for England in February 1914 against South Africa in Durban, Barnes walked away with figures of 14-144.
Not known as an establishment figure and being somewhat disdainful of county cricket, Barnes preferred to ply his trade in the cricket leagues and for the minor counties side Staffordshire. During his career, he took 1,432 wickets for Staffordshire at less than nine runs each, and played for the county until he was over 60. He did, however, play for Warwickshire in 1895 and 1896 and Lancashire in 1899 and 1901.
Barnes's granddaughter said of the occasion: "It's fantastic for our family to have Sydney's achievements recognised by the ICC. I'm sure that he would have been extremely honoured to be included on this list of great players. Each time I come to Edgbaston it fills me with great joy to know that my grandfather was such a gifted cricketer."
Chairman of Warwickshire County Cricket Club Neil Houghton said: "Sydney Barnes played two seasons with Warwickshire in his early playing days and is quite rightly regarded as one of England's best-ever bowlers. His phenomenal bowling figures are simply incredible and we are proud to have a gate named after him at Edgbaston."
Chairman of the Staffordshire Cricket Board Gerald Williams added: "Sydney Barnes made a huge contribution not only to England but also to Staffordshire and the region. Representing Lancashire, Warwickshire and playing league cricket in Staffordshire he will always be fondly remembered as arguably one of the greatest bowlers of all time.
"He will also be remembered for his contributions to Staffordshire County Council where he worked right up to his final years. It is fantastic that the international cricket community is honouring Sydney today."
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.
Other ICC Cricket Hall of Famers to have received their caps so far in 2009 are legendary New Zealand all-rounder Richard Hadlee, former Australian greats Rod Marsh, Ian Chappell, Allan Border, Neil Harvey and Richie Benaud, 12 former West Indies players or their family members or representatives - batting greats Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards and Rohan Kanhai, champion all-rounder Garfield Sobers, the three Ws Everton Weekes, Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell, opener Gordon Greenidge, fast bowlers Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall and Andy Roberts, and star off-spinner Lance Gibbs - also ex-South Africa batsmen Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock, former Pakistan stalwarts Javed Miandad and Hanif Mohammad and England's Alec Bedser, Colin Cowdrey, Tom Graveney, Peter May, David Gower,Derek Underwood, Graham Gooch, Harold Larwood, Denis Compton and Frank Woolley.
Further cap presentations will be made during the course of the year and a limited number of new inductees, in addition to the 55 already chosen, will be named at this year's LG ICC Awards. (ANI)