By ICC Media Release
Five cricketing greats were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at the tea interval on the second day of the second Ashes Test at Lord's on Friday.
Australia's Richie Benaud, alongside England's Graham Gooch, Denis Compton, Harold Larwood and Frank Woolley were inducted into the Hall of Fame *, a joint venture between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA).
Benaud and Gooch, along with family representatives of Compton, Larwood and Woolley were presented with their commemorative caps by ICC President David Morgan, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman and ICC director Giles Clarke, Cricket Australia (CA) Chairman and ICC director Jack Clarke alongside MCC Secretary Keith Bradshaw in front of a large and appreciative crowd.
One of 13 Australians to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, Benaud was an outstanding leg-spinner who played in 63 Test matches. In a career that lasted 12 years, he claimed 248 wickets with a bowling average of 27.03.
The New South Welshman captained his side to Ashes victory over England on three successive occasions between 1958 and 1963. Benaud said of his induction into the Hall of Fame: "The great thing is that there are a lot of wonderful names and wonderful players in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and it is a real privilege to be part of those names.
"If I were to nominate one thing to reflect upon it wouldn't necessarily be to do with The Ashes or the England versus Australia rivalry. It would be the last name in the 55 inductees, Frank Worrell, one the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen. He was responsible for all sorts of wonderful things and who I had the privilege to play against as captain in the tied Test between Australia and the West Indies in 1960."
England's Graham Gooch was one of the most prolific batsmen of his time, making a total of 8,900 Test runs in 118 Tests with an average of 42.58, with 20 Test hundreds to his name.
Gooch played for England for 20 years, captained it for five years and is probably most remembered for his mammoth 333 runs against India in the first innings of the 1990 Lord's Test followed by123 runs in the second innings. He still holds the record for the most runs amassed in a Test match.
He also played in 125 ODIs, including 50 as captain, and scored 4,290 runs at an impressive average of almost 37, including eight centuries and 23 half-centuries. He captained England in 1992 World Cup where England reached the final.
Gooch said of his induction: "It is a huge honour to see my name mentioned among such great names.
"As a player you aspire to represent your country, to perhaps one day captain your country and to do both for England was a great honour and to now be thought of in the same breath as the names in the Hall of Fame is very humbling.
"All the names in the Hall of Fame stand out to me. As a child, I had heroes I grew up watching and I feel very fortunate to be named alongside some of them. I didn't play to for awards, I played to win matches but it's an extremely good feeling to be receiving this award and to be thought of in the same ?sphere as so many great players."
Denis Compton was an attractive batsman known particularly for his impressive sweep shot. Born in 1918, Compton played his way through World War Two.
Compton played in 78 Test matches, making 5,807 runs with an average of 50.06 and 17 centuries. He was not just a talented cricketer but also played soccer for Arsenal besides appearing for England in war time matches.
Compton's grandson and current Middlesex batsman Nick said upon receiving his grandfather's commemorative cap: "Denis was never a man for statistics. Instead it was the manner in which he scored his runs and played his cricket which gave him a huge sense of achievement.
"One thing I do know from my father Richard is that he felt a great sense of pride through the joy and entertainment he instilled to thousands during a battle weary post-war England.
"He would have received this with a huge sense of pride at what he achieved. But more importantly what he did for the people and to see his name amongst such greats makes it a true honour to receive this award on his behalf."
Frank Woolley played 64 Tests for England, scoring 3, 283 runs whilst also claiming 83 Test wickets. Woolley was a tall left-arm all-rounder but also known for his superb fielding skills. After fellow Hall of Famer Jack Hobbs, Woolley is the second highest run-scorer in first-class cricket with 58, 959 runs. He took over 2,000 wickets and is the only fielder to take 1,000 first-class catches.
Woolley passed away in 1978 and his grandson Richard Burnett said upon receiving his grandfather's cap: "I was very young when I spent time with Frank but he was a very modest man, who would have been highly honoured with this award.
"He would have said he was in the company of other great players. Frank was a tremendous player who perhaps felt that the term ?great' was used too often when describing cricketers. He would though have said that the likes of Richie Benaud, Denis Compton, Graham Gooch and Harold Larwood were indeed great players of the game."
The final inductee, Harold Larwood played 21 matches for England taking a total of 78 wickets. He was one of the fastest bowlers of his time and was perhaps best known for his role in implementing the ?Bodyline' approach adopted by his England captain Douglas Jardine in an attempt to combat Sir Don Bradman on the 1932-33 Ashes tour of Australia.
That Ashes tour was Larwood's most successful taking 33 wickets at 19.51 but he didn't play in another Test after the conclusion of the Ashes series. He played in 361 first-class matches and claimed 1,427 wickets at an average of 17.51. The 1927 Wisden Cricketer of the Year passed away in 1995 in Australia.
Larwood's daughter, Enid Todd said of her father's induction: "Harold would have been overwhelmed with this award.
"I think my father would have been disbelieving to be included alongside the likes of Richie Benaud and the other names on the list of 55 inductees. He was a humble person; he knew he was a good bowler but he did not class himself with the likes of other Hall of Famers like Jack Hobbs. He was just happy to be doing his job for his country."
The cap presentation ceremony is a key part of the celebrations to mark the ICC's centenary year as it acknowledges the greats of the game and the contributions they have made to ensure cricket is a great sport with a great spirit.
Other ICC Cricket Hall of Famers to have received their caps so far in 2009 are legendary New Zealand all-rounder Richard Hadlee, former Australian greats Rod Marsh, Ian Chappell, Allan Border and Neil Harvey, 12 former West Indies players or their family members or representatives ? batting greats Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards and Rohan Kanhai, champion all-rounder Garfield Sobers, the three Ws Everton Weekes, Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell, opener Gordon Greenidge, fast bowlers Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall and Andy Roberts, and star off-spinner Lance Gibbs ? also ex-South Africa batsmen Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock, former Pakistan stalwarts Javed Miandad and Hanif Mohammad and England's Alec Bedser, Colin Cowdrey, Tom Graveney, Peter May, David Gower and Derek Underwood.
Further cap presentations will be made during the course of the year and a limited number of new inductees, in addition to the 55 already chosen, will be named at this year's LG ICC Awards.
*ICC Cricket Hall of Fame ? initial inductees (55):
Sydney Barnes, Bishan Bedi, Alec Bedser, Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Donald Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Denis Compton, Colin Cowdrey, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Lance Gibbs, Graham Gooch, David Gower, WG Grace, Tom Graveney, Gordon Greenidge, Richard Hadlee, Walter Hammond, Neil Harvey, George Headley, Jack Hobbs, Michael Holding, Leonard Hutton, Rohan Kanhai, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Jim Laker, Harold Larwood, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Clive Lloyd, Hanif Mohammad, Rodney Marsh, Malcolm Marshall, Peter May, Javed Miandad, Keith Miller, Bill O'Reilly, Graeme Pollock, Wilfred Rhodes, Barry Richards, Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts, Garfield Sobers, Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Woolley, Frank Worrell.
About the ICC centenary year
ICC President David Morgan and Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat officially launched the ICC centenary year in Sydney, Australia on 2 January by announcing the formation of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, in association with FICA.
The ICC's centenary year of 2009 is a global celebration with events taking place around the world to reflect all that is great about the game.
On the field these events include the ICC Women's World Cup (won by England), the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (won by Ireland), the ICC World Twenty20 event for men and women (won by Pakistan and England respectively) and the ICC Champions Trophy.
And off the field there will be the opening of the ICC Global Cricket Academy and the inauguration of the ICC's new headquarters, both of which are in Dubai, and an ICC cricket history conference at St Antony's College, Oxford in the United Kingdom in July.
The ICC will also be celebrating the contribution of volunteers across the world through the award of 1,000 centenary medals and will announce new developments to its social responsibility partnership on HIV/AIDS.
During the course of 2009, each of the ICC's 104 Members will be hosting activities inspired by the special spirit of cricket as part of the global Catch the Spirit centenary celebration.
To promote this theme and the launch of the ICC's centenary year website, www.catchthespirit.com, stars of the international game have named their "Catch the Spirit" moments which best encapsulate the spirit of cricket.
Among those stars that can be seen on the website, Yuvraj Singh of India speaks of his experiences in Pakistan ? India matches and South Africa's Jacques Kallis reflects on his side's famous chase of 438 to beat Australia in an ODI in Johannesburg.