Muttiah Muralitharan, the best spinner to have ever played cricket, has been inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, making him the first Sri Lankan to achieve the laurel.
Muralitharan, who has a whopping 800 wickets in test cricket and 534 wickets in ODIs, retired from international cricket following the 2011 World Cup in the sub-continent. “Muralidaran 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,” said the Chief Executive of ICC, David Richardson.
Along with Murali, former Australian women’s team captain Karen Rolton, Arthur Morris, and George Lohman have also been co-opted into the elite league. The legendary players will be presented with commemorative caps in appreciation of their exemplary contribution to the game of cricket.
The four pre-eminent players were voted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Famers and members of the media. This concept of Hall of Fame was launched by ICC on the 2nd of January, 2009, in collaboration with Federation of International Cricketers Association. Initially, 55 players were inducted into the hallowed league and annually the ICC expands the Hall of Fame by inducting new members.
To be eligible to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, a player must at least meet one of the following criteria.
- He must have a Test and/or ODI batting average of 50 or above
- He must have scored 8000 Test and/or ODI runs and 20 hundreds in either or both those forms of the game
- He must have taken 200 Test wickets in either or both forms of the game and have a strike-rate of a wicket every 50 balls in Tests and/or 30 balls in ODIs
- A captain must have led his side in at least 25 Tests and/or 100 ODIs with a win percentage of 50 percent or more in either or both
- A wicketkeeper must have secured 200 dismissals in either or both Tests and ODIs
- A woman, in Tests, must have scored 1000 runs at an average of 50 or more and/or taken 50 wickets
- In ODIs a woman must have scored 2000 runs at an average of 35 or better and/or taken 100 wickets
- If a person, team or institution does not fall within any of the above criteria, he, she or it can still be put forward by the Nominations Committee if, in the opinion of its members, he, she or it has had a fundamental effect on the history of the game (this criterion would also allow an eminent journalist, umpire, match referee or administrator to be nominated. It is also a sweep-up criterion if someone regarded as a great of the game does not fit into any of the above criteria) [source:ICC]