|Player:||IT Botham, G Boycott, FS Trueman, W Rhodes|
DateLine: 9th August 2009
Four England greats were inducted on Saturday into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during the second day of the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley. Ian Botham and Geoffrey Boycott, along with representatives of Fred Trueman and Wilfred Rhodes, were awarded their commemorative caps as part of the joint venture between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA). ICC President David Morgan presented caps to Boycott and Trueman’s widow, Veronica, while England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman and ICC Director Giles Clarke presented caps to Botham and Yorkshire County Cricket Club Chairman Colin Graves, who accepted the honour on behalf of Rhodes. Botham played 102 Tests, captaining his country in 12 of them, and amassed 5,200 runs and claiming 383 wickets at an average of 28.40. He played 116 One-Day Internationals taking 145 wickets at an average of 28.54 and scoring 2,113 runs. After receiving his cap Botham said: “To be named amongst 55 of the most prolific players in cricketing history is a great honour for me. “To have my cricketing career recognised in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame is not something I would have thought when I began playing cricket but to be receiving this award today is something I’m extremely grateful for.” The first of the trio of Yorkshire players to be inducted was Boycott. He made his England debut against Australia in 1964 at Trent Bridge and played 108 Test matches for his country.
Boycott said: “I would like to thank the ICC for awarding me this great honour and for also choosing Headingley as the venue. “This ground holds so many wonderful memories for me and the Yorkshire public have always been my greatest supporters, so having this award on home soil in front of them makes it more special.” Fellow Yorkshireman Fred Trueman was a prolific fast bowler who was the first player in history to take 300 Test wickets. Trueman played 67 Tests, taking 307 wickets with a combination of fearsome pace and late swing. His longevity in the game was illustrated by the fact he played 603 first-class matches, taking 2,304 wickets in the process.
Trueman’s widow Veronica received the cap on behalf of her late husband, who died in 2006, and said afterwards: “It is an honour to receive this on Fred’s behalf and I’m sorry that he isn’t here for this great occasion. “Fred regarded Headingley as his headquarters and it is a huge pleasure to be receiving this on his behalf in front of the Headingley crowd.”
Rhodes played Test cricket into his fifties and is the only man to appear in over 1000 first-class matches.
As an all-rounder Rhodes was a solid right-handed batsman and skillful left-arm spinner and he holds the distinction of batting in all 11 positions in the order in Tests, although many of his innings were as an opener. Rhodes finished his career in 1930 with 39,969 first-class runs and 4,204 wickets, while, in his 58 Tests, he amassed 127 wickets and 2,325 runs.
After receiving the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap on behalf of Rhodes, Yorkshire County Cricket Club Chairman Colin Graves said: “It is a great honour to accept the cap on behalf of a Yorkshire legend.
“Wilfred Rhodes was an exceedingly gifted player and is rightly regarded as one of England’s greatest all-rounders.
“I am also delighted to see two other great Yorkshiremen and another great all-rounder inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame today.”