The former captains Bob Simpson and Monty Noble were inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame at the Allan Border Medal in Melbourne last night. Simpson, who made his debut in 1957-58 against South Africa, played 62 Tests and contributed in the following four decades as a player, coach and selector.
After answering a call to lead Australia again during the World Series Cricket split, Simpson retired in 1978 for a second time and eight years later became the country's first full-time coach. Focussing on fitness, fielding and improving techniques, Simpson pushed the team to the 1987 World Cup victory and a 4-0 Ashes win in 1989, paving the way for Geoff Marsh and John Buchanan.
Simpson said he was "proud and humbled" to be included in the Hall of Fame. "I believe this is the ultimate conclusion to a career in many ways, the icing on the cake after a wonderful involvement in the game," Simpson said. "Joining other players who have been given this prestigious honour is extremely humbling and something I and my family are very proud of."
Noble was an allrounder and captain who was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1900. "During his long career, Noble showed exceptional ability in every detail of the game, and by many people was regarded as the greatest all-round cricketer produced by Australia," Wisden said in his obituary. He played 42 Tests from 1898 to 1909, scoring 1997 runs at 30.25 and taking 121 wickets at 25.00.
The Hall of Fame opened in 1996 with ten inductees and 15 more have been added since 2000. Players are selected for their status as "sporting legends" as well as their outstanding records. Richie Benaud and Bill Lawry are two former captains on the selection panel who have not yet been recognised.
The 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 Clement Hill, Rod Marsh
2006 Monty Noble, Bob Simpson