22 cricketers who are immortalised in statue at a cricket ground
Three of the 22 cricketers statue's (from left): WG Grace, Don Bradman and DB Deodhar

It has been one of the oldest ways of honouring the great personalities by making their statues and placing them at a place where their contributions have come more often. Recently, on December 9, 2015, former Australian captain Ricky Ponting was honoured for his immense contribution to his nation and cricket world through a statue of him being erected at Hobart Blundstone Arena. Previously, many great cricketers have been immortalised in statue and most of them have been from England and Australia. But few would know that this trend was started first in India. As Ponting got the honour at Hobart with his statue, Abhishek Kumar takes out 22 cricketers from the history of the game, who are immortalised in statue at a cricket ground.

1.  CK Nayudu

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CK Nayudu’s 1st statue at Nehru Stadium of Indore (left) and 2nd at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium of Vishakhapatnam (right)

CK Nayudu was the first captain of Indian Test team and is amongst the most iconic figures in the history of Indian cricket. He was the first person to be honoured with a statue in a cricket ground. His statue was unveiled in 1980 at Nehru Stadium of Indore, Madhya Pradesh. There is another statue of him, which was unveiled at Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium of Vishakhapatnam on April 4, 2005.

2.  George Headley

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George Headley was a cricketer from West Indies and is considered to be one of the best batsmen to come out from the Caribbean islands. He played majority of his 22 Test matches before the Second World War. Headley is the first West Indian cricketer to be honoured with a statue on a cricket ground. His statue can be seen at Sabina Park of Kingston, Jamaica which was unveiled in 1995 and was sculpted by Basil Watson.

3.  Victor Trumper

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Victor Trumper was an Australian cricketer and one of the most stylish batsmen in the early 1900s. He had an amazing ability to win the match on his own on wet wickets. He was the first Australian to be honoured with a statue in 1999 at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The statue that was sculpted by Louis Laumen was later removed in 2009.

4.  WG Grace

wg grace WG Grace was an English cricketer who is known as the father of cricket. He played an instrumental role in the development of cricket and is widely considered one of England’s greatest players. He was the first English player to be honoured with a statue in 2000 at Lord’s Cricket Ground which was sculpted by Louis Laumen.

5.  Don Bradman

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Don Bradman’s 1st statue at Adelaide Oval and 2nd at Melbourne Cricket Ground

We can call him Sir Don Bradman or simply ‘The Don’, who is widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time. Bradman was the Australian cricketer who played between 1928 and 1948 and is the only batsman in the history of cricket to carry the average of almost 100. There are two statues of Bradman in Australia and both were unveiled in the same year. His first statue was unveiled on February 25, 2002 at Adelaide Oval, sculptured by Robert Hannaford and the second statue in September 3, 2002 at Melbourne Cricket Ground, sculpted by Louis Laumen.

6.  Gary Sobers

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If Bradman is considered as the greatest batsman of all time, then arguably Gary Sobers is the greatest all-rounder, who represented West Indies between 1954 and 1974. His highest score in Tests of 365 not out was unbroken until Brian Lara scored 375 in 1994. There is a statue of Sobers at Kensington oval in Bridgetown, Barbados which is 12ft tall and was commissioned by Government and designed by Karl Broodhagen and Virgil Broodhagen. It was unveiled on April 28, 2002 as a part of Heroes Day celebration at Sir Garfield Sobers Round-about in Wildey and was relocated to the Kensington Oval on November 19, 2006.

7.  David Boon

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David Boon is a former Australian cricketer and one of the most iconic players of Tasmania. He has played more than 100 matches including both Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODI). His statue was unveiled by former Australian captain Allan Border on November 14, 2002 at Bellerive Oval in Tasmania, sculpted by Stephen Walker.

8.  Keith Miller

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Keith Miller was an Australian cricketer and probably the best all-rounder Australia ever had. He was also an Air Force Pilot during the Second World War. His statue was unveiled in February 16, 2004 at Melbourne Cricket Ground, sculpted by Louis Laumen.

9.  Bill Ponsford

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Bill Ponsford was an Australian opening batsman and was one of finest players of spin bowling in his playing days. He was the first cricketer to go past 400 in First-Class cricket. Ponsford was the first inductee into the inaugural Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 1996. His statue was unveiled on February 16, 2005 at Melbourne Cricket Ground and was sculpted by Louis Laumen.

10.  Dennis Lillee

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Dennis Lillee is a former Australian cricketer and considered to be one of the best bowlers of his generation. Known for his never-die attitude and extreme popularity amongst the fans, Lillee was fiery with his pace and bounce. He was also among the inaugural inductee into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 1996. His statue was unveiled on December 22, 2006 at MCG designed by Louis Laumen.

11.  Richie Benaud

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Richie Benaud was an Australian cricketer, who became more famous post retirement for his witty commentary. Many describe him as one of the most influential cricket personality post Second World War. He was honoured with a statue on January 4, 2008 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and sculpted by Terrance Plowright.

12.  Eddie Gilbert

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Eddie Gilbert was an Australian fast bowler and the only Aboriginal cricketer of his time. He was an excellent fast bowler for Queensland. In his 23 First-Class appearances, he took 87 wickets but never got a chance to represent Australia. His statue can be seen at Allan Border Field of Brisbane, Queensland, which was unveiled at November 16, 2008, sculpted by Pauline Clayton.

13.  Fred Spofforth

spofforth Fred Spofforth was an Australian pace bowler and was considered as one of the finest fast bowlers of 19th century. Also known as “The Demon Bowler”, he was the first to take 50 Test wickets and a hat-trick in 1879. His statue can be seen at the SCG, which was unveiled on January 4, 2009, sculpted by Cathy Weiszmann.

14.  Stan McCabe

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Stan McCabe was an Australian cricketer who made his Test debut at a young age of 19, when he had not even scored a First-Class century. He was amongst the greatest batsmen of all time and once Bradman also said the same. He was widely known for his nimble footwork and was never dropped till the Second World War had begun. He was honoured with a statue on January 5, 2010 at the SCG, sculpted by Terrance Plowright.

15.  Jason Gillespie

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Jason Gillespie is a former Australian cricketer and is currently the coach of Yorkshire County team in England. He is one of the legendary bowlers from Australia who played in the era of Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath. He has played 71 Tests and 97 ODIs for Australia and for his contribution to the game, Gillespie was honoured with a statue at Adelaide Oval on December 5, 2010, which was sculpted by Ken Martin.

16.  Steve Waugh

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Steve Waugh is a former captain of Australian cricket team and a twin brother of Mark Waugh. He is widely considered as amongst the best captains of Australia. He is also known for his philanthropic work and is one of the most respected players of the game. His statue can be seen at the SCG, which was unveiled on January 5, 2011 and was sculpted by Terrance Plowright.

17.  Shane Warne

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There have been many cricketers’ statue but one can find very rare statues of spinners. Inarguably, Warne is the best leg-spinner the world has ever seen. He is also named in the Wisden’s five greatest cricketers of 20th century. He is honoured many times throughout his career for his exceptional bowling and finally on December 22, 2011, Warne was given a special honour with a statue at the MCG, sculpted by Louis Laumen.

18.  Darren Lehmann

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Darren Lehmann is the former Australian cricketer, who is known for his aggressive left-hand batting and his bulky figure. He is the only player to represent the Australian team in the World Cup victory in 1999 and 2003 as a player and then as a coach in 2015. His statue can be seen at Adelaide Oval, which was unveiled in January 25, 2012 and was sculpted by Ken Martin.

19.  DB Deodhar

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Dinkar Balwant Deodhar was an Indian cricketer from Pune and a legendary cricketer in the domestic circuit of India. By profession, he was a professor at SP College in Pune. There is a domestic List A tournament being named after him which is known as Deodhar Trophy. In 1996, the Indian Post issued a commemorative stamp in his honor and further in 2012, a statue of him was unveiled at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium, Pune, sculpted by Prashant Bangal and Shekhar Dahiwal.

20.  Neil Harvey

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Neil Harvey is a former Australian cricketer, who played 79 Tests between 1948 and 1963. He became the vice captain of the side in 1957 and remained so until his retirement. He was considered as the finest fielder of his era by Wisden. In the year 2014, Harvey was honoured for his contribution in the game with a statue on January 31 at Melbourne Cricket Ground, which was sculpted by Lis Johnson.

21.  Viv Richards

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Viv Richards is the former captain of West Indies cricket team and also regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time. Born in Antigua, his statue was unveiled by himself on February 27, 2014 in Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, St John’s in the presence of Antiguan Prime Minister Baldwin Spencer.

22.  Ricky Ponting

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Last but not the least, Ponting is the latest former cricketer who made to this list when his statue was unveiled at Hobart Cricket Ground on December 9, 2015. He is the only Australian captain to win two World Cup tournaments.

(Abhishek Kumar is a cricket devotee currently staffing with Criclife.com. He can be followed at abhicricket.kumar and @abhishekkr2593)