Bengaluru, July 27: Spin legend Muttaiah Muralitharan today (July 27) created history by becoming the first Sri Lankan player chosen to be inducted into the International Cricket Council's (ICC) Cricket Hall of Fame.
ICC, on Wednesday, announced that Muralitharan, who took a record 800 Test wickets, will be the first Sri Lankan to be in the Hall of Fame. He will be inducted with 3 other cricketers later this year.
Australia's Arthur Morris, his compatriot Karen Rolton, who won 2 Women's World Cups in 1997 and 2005 and George Lohmann of England, are the three along with Muralitharan to share the honours.
"The four iconic cricketers were voted by the ICC Cricket Hall of Famers as well as members of the media. They will be presented with commemorative caps honouring their contribution to the game to mark their induction. Family members will represent Lohmann and Morris at the presentations," ICC said in a media release.
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson congratulated the four, saying, "The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame recognises some of the truly great players from cricket's long and illustrious history, and this year's inductees thoroughly deserve to be in this highly prestigious group.
"Muralitharan has been one of the greats of the modern era. His guile and consistency over the years helped Sri Lanka develop as a very competitive side in both Tests and ODI cricket.
"We have in the list some very famous names of different eras. Lohmann and Morris were outstanding performers during their times and are part of cricket folk-lore, while Rolton's performances have been recent and came during an era when women's cricket became very competitive."
Brief profiles of all 4 players, by ICC
Muralitharan, whose last international fixture was the final of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in Mumbai finished his career with 800 wickets in Tests, 534 wicket in One-Day Internationals and 13 wickets in 12 T20Is. He grabbed 10 wickets in a match 22 times and five wickets in an innings 67 times to make Sri Lanka a force to reckon with in Test cricket.
Known to spin the ball prodigiously, Muralidaran also played a big part in Sri Lanka's ODI successes from 1993 to 2011 and was a member of the squads that won the ICC Cricket World Cup 1996 and shared the ICC Champions Trophy 2002 with India.
Lohmann, an exponent of swing bowling in the late 19th century and rated by his contemporaries as the most difficult opponent, will be the 27th Englishman in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame list. He raced to 100 Test wickets in 16 matches but tuberculosis shortened his career and he died at the age of 36 in 1901.
In an 18-Test career from 1886 to 1896, Lohmann took 112 wickets, including nine for 28 against South Africa at the Old Wanderers, and also scored 213 runs. He was 21 when he first played and took one wicket in his first two Tests in 1886, but at The Oval he took seven for 36 and five for 68 as England won by an innings against Australia.
Morris, a stylish left-hander of the 1940s and 50s who scored 12 centuries and 12 fifties in 46 Tests between 1946 and 1955, will be the 22nd Australia cricketer in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Morris was the man at the other end when Don Bradman was out for a duck in his final Test innings at The Oval in 1948 and went on to score 196 in that match. He was named in Australia's Test team of the 20th century and captained his country twice, in 1951 and 1954.
Morris scored a total of 12,614 runs in 162 first-class matches, including 3,533 runs in Tests.
Rolton, a dynamic all-rounder in both Tests and ODIs who is best remembered for her match-winning century in the ICC Women's World Cup 2005 final, will be only the sixth woman and the third Australian to get onto the coveted list.
In a 14-year international career from 1997 to 2009, Rolton played 14 Tests and 141 One-Day Internationals, scoring 1,002 and 4,814 runs respectively. She also hit two Test and eight ODI centuries. Rolton also featured in 15 T20Is, scoring 405 runs at an average of just under 51.
She was a member of the Australia women's sides which won the ICC Women's World Cups in 1997 and 2005.