Two-time World Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting, former India captain Rahul Dravid and 2009 ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year Claire Taylor were the newest additions into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. The three of them were inducted at a ceremony in Dublin on Sunday night.
"The ICC Cricket Hall of Fame is our way of honouring the greats of our game," said ICC chief executive David Richardson. "Only the very best players in the world are recognised for their contribution to cricket in this way and I would like to congratulate Rahul, Ricky and Claire who are wonderful additions to the list of cricketing luminaries in the Hall of Fame."
Ponting retired in 2012 as the second-highest run-scorer in Test cricket, behind only Sachin Tendulkar, and also sits third in the all-time list in ODIs behind Tendulkar and Kumar Sangakkara. He captained Australia to a pair of undefeated runs at the 2003 and 2007 World Cups, and was also a member of the title-winning squad in 1999. He was named ICC Cricketer of the Year in 2006 and 2007 and has now become the 25th Australian player to find a place in the Hall of Fame.
"I feel deeply honoured to be recognised by the ICC in this way," Ponting said. "I loved every moment of my journey as a player and am so very proud of the team and personal achievements along the way."
Dravid is one of only seven players, including Ponting, to have done the double of 10,000 Test and ODI runs; the only other Indian to have done it is Tendulkar. He was the first recipient of the ICC Cricketer of the Year award in 2004, beating out a field of nominees that included Ponting, Jacques Kallis, Andrew Flintoff and Muttiah Muralitharan. The sure-handed Dravid holds the record for most catches taken in a Test career by a non-wicketkeeper, with 210 in 164 matches, and the most deliveries faced - 31,258. He is the fifth player from India to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
"It is a matter of great honour to be named by the ICC in the Cricket Hall of Fame," Dravid said. "To find your name in a list of all-time greats across generations is something one only dreams of while setting out on a cricket career and the kind of recognition that would delight any player."
Taylor is just the seventh women's player, and third from England, to become a Hall-of-Famer. She is one of just four players to score more than 1000 runs in Women's Tests and 4000 runs in Women's ODIs. Taylor propelled England to historic success in 2009 when she was named player of the tournament as her side won the championships at both the Women's World Cup in Australia and Women's World Twenty20 in England.
"It's a great honour to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame alongside some of the greatest names of the men's and women's game from across the world and throughout the generations, players who I looked up to during my playing career and hold in great esteem," Taylor said.