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Dubai: Dec 30, 2013
Former Australia captain Bob Simpson and ex-New Zealand women cricketer Debbie Hockley will be inducted into the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame in a special function to be held in Sydney on Thursday, the world body said on Monday.
Hockley will become the fourth female player after Belinda Clark (Australia), Enid Bakewell and Rachael Heyhoe-Flint (both England), and second cricketer from New Zealand after Richard Hadlee to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, the ICC said in a statement.
Simpson will overall become the 72nd male and 20th from Australia after Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Don Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Neil Harvey, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Rodney Marsh, Keith Miller, Bill O’Reilly, Steve Waugh, Victor Trumper, Clarrie Grimmett, Frederick Spofforth, Alan Davidson, Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
Hockley, born on November 7 1962 in Christchurch, made her international debut in January 1979 when she featured in the third Test against Australia in Melbourne. In December 2000, she announced her retirement after the final of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in Lincoln in which New Zealand beat Australia by four runs.
In a career spanning 22 years, Hockley played 19 Tests in which she scored 1,301 runs with four centuries and seven half-centuries, and 118 ODIs in which she mustered 4,064 runs with four centuries and 34 half-centuries. With her in-swing bowling, she took five Test and 20 ODI wickets.
Reacting on her inclusion into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, a delighted Hockley said: “I am very proud that my contributions to New Zealand cricket in the time I played have been deemed worthy of this honour. I’m very much looking forward to the Induction ceremony in Sydney, and the fact that my parents have been invited to attend the function will make it even more special.”
Simpson, born on 3 February 1936 in Marrickville, Sydney, played 62 Tests and two ODIs for Australia from 1957 to 1978.
His 4,869 Test runs include 10 centuries and 27 half-centuries, with his highest score of 311 coming against England in the fourth Ashes Test of the 1964 series at Old Trafford, Manchester.
With his leg-spin bowling, Simpson captured 71 wickets, including a career-best five for 57 against England in the 1962-63 Ashes in Sydney. In 1965, Simpson was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year.
Simpson retired in January 1968 after the Sydney Test against India, but returned at the age of 41 in December 1977 to lead Australia in the home series against India and away series against the West Indies. While Australia beat India 3-2, it lost 3-1 to the West Indies, with Simpson’s final Test at Sabina Park, Kingston, Jamaica, ending in a draw.
Overall, Simpson captained Australia in 39 Tests, winning 12 and losing 12.
In 1985-86, Simpson was appointed as Australia coach and when he handed over the baton to Geoff Marsh after the ICC Cricket World Cup 1996, Australia was back as a force to be reckoned with. During Simpson’s tenure, Australia won the ICC Cricket World Cup 1987 and reached the final of the 1996 tournament (both held in the subcontinent), won four consecutive Ashes (1989, 1990-91, 1993, 1994-95) and ended the West Indies’ 15-year unbeaten run in Test cricket in 1995, in its own backyard.
Simpson served as an ICC Match Referee in the three-Test series between India and Sri Lanka in India in 1997, and then worked as India’s consultant coach in 1998-99 that also included his involvement with the side during the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999.
Upon hearing the news of his induction into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, Simpson said: “It is a huge honour for me to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.
“To be inducted in the elite group in Sydney, which I consider the headquarters of Australia cricket, and in front of the people I have known or who have seen me play or been associated with the game here, will make it perfect.
“I would like to thank all the living members of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and the voting academy, for considering me worthy of this honour. The very prospect of being in the exalted company of some of the greatest achievers in cricket fills me with great pride and joy.”
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