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Botham, Boycott, Trueman and Rhodes inducted into ICC Cricket Hall of Fame

Four England greats were inducted today into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame* at the tea interval of the second day of the fourth Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Headingley.

Four England greats were inducted today into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame* at the tea interval of the second day of the fourth Ashes Test match between England and Australia at Headingley.

Ian Botham and Geoffrey Boycott, along with representatives of Fred Trueman and Wilfred Rhodes, were awarded their commemorative caps as part of the joint venture between the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA).

ICC President David Morgan presented caps to Boycott and Trueman's widow, Veronica, while England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman and ICC Director Giles Clarke presented caps to Botham and Yorkshire County Cricket Club Chairman Colin Graves, who accepted the honour on behalf of Rhodes.

Botham played 102 Tests, captaining his country in 12 of them, and amassed 5,200 runs and claiming 383 wickets at an average of 28.40. He played 116 One-Day Internationals taking 145 wickets at an average of 28.54 and scoring 2,113 runs.

Botham is perhaps best recalled as a talismanic all-rounder who saved his greatest performances for when his side really needed them - especially against Australia - something best illustrated by impressive performances in the 1981 Ashes series.

He will always be remembered for his performance in the third Test of that summer at Headingley, when he scored 50 and 149 not out as well as capturing seven wickets to help win a match that was seemingly lost.

In the next match at Edgbaston Botham produced a spell of 5-1 to seal another improbable win, he scored a brilliant 118 in the fifth Test at Old Trafford and then rounded off the series with 10 wickets at The Oval, including his 200th in Tests.

A former Somerset, Worcestershire and Durham player, Botham is now well known for his charity walks to aid leukemia research and for his work as a cricket commentator.

After receiving his cap Ian Botham said: "To be named amongst 55 of the most prolific players in cricketing history is a great honour for me.

"To have my cricketing career recognised in the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame is not something I would have thought when I began playing cricket but to be receiving this award today is something I'm extremely grateful for."

The first of the trio of Yorkshire players to be inducted today was batsman Geoffrey Boycott. Boycott made his England debut against Australia in 1964 at Trent Bridge and played 108 Test matches for his country.

A right-hand batsman, Boycott made 8,114 runs in his Test career averaging 47.72, while in first-class cricket he amassed 48,426 runs at an average of 56.83.

One of cricket's great technicians, he reached the summit of Test run-making during England's tour to India in 1981-82, passing the record that at that time was held by Garry Sobers.

He memorably scored his 100th first-class century at Headingley during the 1977 Ashes series, the first time a player had reached the landmark in a Test match. He captained England in four Tests on the 1977-78 tour to Pakistan and New Zealand.

Boycott finished his career with 151 first-class centuries as well as becoming the first player to average over 100 in a county season twice.

Boycott said: "I would like to thank the ICC for awarding me this great honour and for also choosing Headingley as the venue.

"This ground holds so many wonderful memories for me and the Yorkshire public have always been my greatest supporters, so having this award on home soil in front of them makes it more special."

Fellow Yorkshireman Fred Trueman was a prolific fast bowler who was the first player in history to take 300 Test wickets.

Trueman played 67 Tests, taking 307 wickets with a combination of fearsome pace and late swing. His longevity in the game was illustrated by the fact he played 603 first-class matches, taking 2,304 wickets in the process.

In 1952 at Headingley, during his first Test series, he helped reduce India to 0-4, taking three of those wickets. He took 29 wickets at 13.31 in that series.

Trueman's widow Veronica received the cap on behalf of her late husband, who died in 2006, and said afterwards: "It is an honour to receive this on Fred's behalf and I'm sorry that he isn't here for this great occasion.

"Fred regarded Headingley as his headquarters and it is a huge pleasure to be receiving this on his behalf in front of the Headingley crowd."

The final England and Yorkshire player inducted was Wilfred Rhodes, who played Test cricket into his fifties and is the only man to appear in over 1000 first-class matches.

As an all-rounder Rhodes was a solid right-handed batsman and skillful left-arm spinner and he holds the distinction of batting in all 11 positions in the order in Tests, although many of his innings were as an opener.

The 1903-04 series in Australia was his most successful as a bowler. In that series Rhodes took 31 wickets at an average of 15.74.

Rhodes finished his career in 1930 with 39,969 first-class runs and 4,204 wickets, while, in his 58 Tests, he amassed 127 wickets and 2,325 runs.

After receiving the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap on behalf of Rhodes, Yorkshire County Cricket Club Chairman Colin Graves said: "It is a great honour to accept the cap on behalf of a Yorkshire legend.

"Wilfred Rhodes was an exceedingly gifted player and is rightly regarded as one of England's greatest all-rounders.

"I am also delighted to see two other great Yorkshiremen and another great all-rounder inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame today."

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, Neil Harvey and Richie Benaud, 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,Derek Underwood, Graham Gooch, Harold Larwood, Denis Compton, Frank Woolley and Sydney Barnes.

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..

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.

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