Kolkata: Sri Lankan legend and one of the greatest ever spinners to have played the game, Muttiah Muralitharan was officially inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame by ICC CEO Dave Richardson during the innings break of the India-Sri Lanka match yesterday at the Oval.
Along with Muralitharan, Arthur Morris, George Lohmann and Karen Rolton were also awarded with the honour by the fellow ICC Cricket Hall of Famers and the members of the media.
The presentation of the commemorative framed cap by Dave Richardson to Murali, thus made him the first player from the island nation of Sri Lanka and the 83rd overall player to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame.
The humble human being that he is, Murali feels that he’ll remember and cherish this moment for the rest of his life.
“It is a moment of great pride and honour to be receiving this award, especially from the ICC which is the ultimate any cricketer can aspire to achieve. The induction during this prestigious ICC Champions Trophy makes it even more remarkable” said Muralitharan.
He further added, “I thank the ICC for making this possible because this is a moment I will cherish throughout life.”
The ‘smiling assassin’ as many know him , played a total of 133 test matches in which he has 800 wickets to his name, a record which is yet to be surpassed. In ODI cricket too, his numbers are staggering as in a total of 350 games, he has 534 scalps, the highest in the format.
Adding to these huge numbers, he has 67 five-wicket hauls and 22 ten-wicket hauls in the longest format of the game.
He was also a member of the Sri Lankan squad that won the 1996 World Cup and also of the team that shared the ICC Champions Trophy with India in 2002.
Dave Richardson had words of praise for the Sri Lankan great, “Murali’s record speaks for itself. His control of line, pace and length coupled with his ability to spin the ball prodigiously are legendary. Once he developed the “doosra” he became almost unplayable.”
“A character popular with fellow players and fans alike, he not only helped raise the profile of Sri Lankan cricket but was a player people came out to watch the world over. I congratulate him on behalf of the ICC on being inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame” further added Richardson.
Sri Lankan fans might be ecstatic at this news and their joy would be doubled after their team totally outplayed the defending champions by seven wickets to stay alive in the tournament.
(With inputs from an ICC release)