Fast bowling great Lillee inducted into Hall of Fame

PERTH, Australia -- One of Australia’s greatest fast bowlers, Dennis Lillee, was formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame at the tea interval on the second day of the third Test between Australia and the West Indies in Perth.

The Hall of Fame, run in association with the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA), recognises some of the truly great players from cricket’s long and illustrious history.

A commemorative cap was presented to Lillee by the International Cricket Council (ICC) Director and Cricket Australia Chairman Jack Clarke in front of large and appreciative crowd at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground (WACA). He was then driven around the oval in an open top vehicle to allow his home fans to show their appreciation for the legendary fast bowler.

Lillee was the heart of Australia bowling attack for more than a decade after making his debut in January 1971 against England in Adelaide where he made his mark by taking 5-124.

He went on to play 70 Tests for Australia, taking 355 Test wickets. He took five wickets in an innings 23 times and 10 wickets in a match seven times.

He bowled with much hostility and unrelenting determination. It was this determination that enabled him to recover from serious stress fractures he suffered early in his career. Together with Jeff Thomson, he formed one of the most feared and lethal bowling combinations of all-time.

He was an enigma for England as he took 167 Test wickets at an average of 21.00 in the Ashes.

As tail-ender, who played with a straight bat, his best Test innings was 73 not out against England at Lord’s in 1975.

After retiring from international cricket, he became a noted fast bowling coach and currently works with youngsters at an academy in Chennai.

Upon receiving his commemorative cap, Lillee said: “To be adjudged or put in the same stratosphere as the initial 55 ICC Hall of Famers, whom I idolised and read about as a kid is incredible and not something I would have thought possible.

“It’s also a real pleasure to be receiving my cap in front of my home crowd here at the WACA who have always been so supportive of my career.”

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.

*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.

ICC Cricket Hall of Fame – new inductees for 2009-10

Wasim Akram, Clarrie Grimmett, Herbert Sutcliffe, Victor Trumper and Steve Waugh.