London:Indian batting icon Sachin Tendulkar has been inducted into the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame alongside South African pace legend Allan Donald.
Joining Tendulkar and Donald in the Hall of Fame was two-time World Cup-winning Australian woman cricketer Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
“It is an honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, which cherishes the contribution of cricketers over generations. They have all contributed to the growth and popularity of the game and I am happy to have done my bit,” Tendulkar said at the induction ceremony held here on Sunday night.
He thanked his family and coach, who has supported him in his journey in international cricket for close to two and a half decades.
“On this occasion, I would like to thank all of those who were by my side over a long international career. My parents, brother Ajit and wife Anjali have been pillars of strength while I was lucky to have someone like coach Ramakant Achrekar as an early guide and mentor,” the maestro said.
Tendulkar, the most prolific batsman in history, was inducted immediately after becoming eligible for induction, which requires that a player should have played his last international match at least five years before.
The 46-year-old former right-hand batsman is regarded as the greatest to have played the game along with Sir Donald Bradman and remains the top run-accumulator in both Tests and ODIs.
Tendulkar, who retired in November 2013, tallied 15,921 runs in Tests and 18,426 in ODIs, both of which remain records.
He is the sixth Indian to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
“I am also thankful to all my captains, fellow players and the BCCI and the MCA administrators over the years for their support and for making me enjoy the game so much and for so long. I thank the ICC for this appreciation of my cricket career and I am happy to note that cricket continues to grow with three popular formats.”
The 52-year-old Donald is one of the finest bowlers to have played the game and had 330 Test and 272 ODI wickets to his credit before calling it quits in 2003.