Former greats recognised for outstanding achievements

Benaud and Macartney join Hall of Fame

Brydon Coverdale

February 4, 2007

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Richie Benaud: Champion legspinner, captain and commentator © Getty Images
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Richie Benaud has been recognised for his life-long contribution to cricket and will join Charles Macartney as the two newest members of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. The pair will be inducted at the Allan Border Medal ceremony in Melbourne on Monday night.

Benaud captained Australia in 28 Tests from 1958 to 1964, when he finished his 63-game career, and went on to become one of the world's most respected cricket journalists and broadcasters. He took over the captaincy from Australia's youngest skipper, Ian Craig, and became renowned as a meticulous tactician and a calm, communicative leader.

In his first series as captain he led Australia's 4-0 recovery of the Ashes after three consecutive series wins by England. His own form in that campaign was remarkable: 31 wickets at 18.83. The first man to reach the double of 2000 Test runs and 200 Test wickets, Benaud was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1962 and ended up with 248 wickets at 27.03 and 2201 runs at 24.45.

As a commentator, Benaud's analytical mind and encyclopaedic knowledge brought a unique perspective to viewers. He was described by Gideon Haigh, the ]writer and historian, as "perhaps the most influential cricketer and cricket personality since the Second World War".

Benaud, who is on the selection panel along with administrators, journalists and other former players, said of the 25 inductees he had played with or against eight and watched a further eight from the SCG grandstands. "It is a great privilege to be inducted to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame which, in my view, is the most prestigious of its kind in the sporting world," Benaud said.



Charles Macartney: "an individual genius, but not in any way to be copied" © Getty Images
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"Of particular pleasure is that I am listed with Charlie Macartney, one of the greats of the game. My father Lou's 17th birthday present from his parents way back in February 1921 was to travel from Coraki to Sydney to watch Warwick Armstrong's team create a clean sweep of the five-match series with Macartney making a brilliant 170."

Macartney, whose Test career spanned nearly 20 years until 1926, was one of the most attractive batsmen of his era and his average of 41.78 did not do justice to his ability. Wisden described him in 1921 as "a law to himself - an individual genius, but not in any way to be copied".

After an impressive tour of England in 1921 - which included a punishing 345 in less than four hours in a tour match against Nottinghamshire - he was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1922. He left the game on top and at the age of 40 finished his final Ashes tour in 1926 with 473 runs at 94.60, including three consecutive centuries.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1996 with ten members. Players are selected for their status as "sporting legends" as well as their outstanding records.

Australian Cricket Hall of Fame

1996
Fred Spofforth, John Blackham, Victor Trumper, Clarrie Grimmett, Bill Ponsford, Sir Donald Bradman, Bill O'Reilly, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall, Dennis Lillee

2000
Warwick Armstrong, Neil Harvey, Allan Border

2001
Bill Woodfull, Arthur Morris

2002
Stan McCabe, Greg Chappell

2003
Lindsay Hassett, Ian Chappell

2004
Hugh Trumble, Alan Davidson

2005
Clem Hill, Rod Marsh

2006
Monty Noble, Bob Simpson

2007
Charles Macartney, Richie Benaud

Brydon Coverdale is an editorial assistant of Cricinfo

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Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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