The International Cricket Council (ICC) inducted Jacques Kallis, Lisa Sthalekar and Zaheer Abbas into the ICC Hall of Fame on Sunday.
Alan Wilkins, Sunil Gavaskar, Mel Jones and Shaun Pollock took to live social medial channels to announce the 2020 inductees.
One of the most accomplished all-rounders to grace the sport, Kallis bagged 13,289 and 11,579 runs in the Test and ODI formats respectively, and 250 wickets overall. He also clinched a record 23 Player of the Match awards in Tests and is the highest run-scorer from South Africa in Tests and ODIs, with 45 Test tons and an average of 55.37.
"I certainly did not play the game for any accolades or anything like that, I only wanted to win the games for whoever I was playing for," said Kallis following the announcement.
“But it is nice to be recognised when one has succeeded in the sport, it is nice to be recognised by people for something that you have achieved in the game, something that I am really proud of.”
Part of the World Cup-winning squads in 2005 and 2013, Sthalekar is a former Australian cricketer who also won the T20 World Cup for her side in 2010 and 2012. She became the first woman to take 100 wickets and hit 100 runs in international cricket. The 44-year-old retired following Australia's 2013 Women's Cricket World Cup win.
"I am deeply humbled to receive this honour. Never in my wildest dreams did I believe that I would ever get to join such an illustrious group of players," gushed Sthalekar.
Finally, Pakistan's Abbas, who contested 78 Tests and 62 ODIs, averaged over 40 in both formats of the game and became the first batsman to achieve five centuries in successive matches. He is also the only batsman from Asia to score 100 first-class tons.
“This great game has made me the person I am. Thank you cricket,” said Abbas.
First introduced in 2009 with the inductions of Sunil Gavaskar and Bishan Singh Bedi, the ICC Hall of Fame has since seen Kapil Dev (2010), Anil Kumble (2015), Rahul Dravid (2018) and most recently among Indians, Sachin Tendulkar (2019) get inducted.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Ishara S. Kodikara