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Chappell, May, Graveney inducted into Hall of Fame

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ian_chappell.jpgThree Ashes heroes Tom Graveney and Peter May of England and Ian Chappell of Australia were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during the tea break of the first Test between England and Australia in Cardiff on Thursday.

Commemorative caps were presented to Graveney, Chappell and May's widow Virginia by the International Cricket Council (ICC) President David Morgan, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chairman and ICC director Giles Clarke and former Australia captain and Cricket Australia (CA) director Allan Border in front of a large and appreciative crowd.

Graveney, May and Chappell are part of a group of 22 Englishmen and 13 Australians within the initial intake of 55 players in the Hall of Fame*, a joint venture between the ICC and the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA).

In a career spanning 18 years, Graveney played 79 Tests for England, scoring 4,882 runs, including 11 centuries and finished with an average of 44.83. Graveney played 22 Ashes Tests in which he scored 1,075 runs with one century and six half-centuries. He participated in six Ashes series and was a member of the England sides that won the 1953, 1954-55 and 1956 Ashes. He is also one of 25 batsmen to have scored a century of centuries. In a 732-match first-class career for Gloucestershire, Worcestershire and Queensland, Graveney stroked 122 centuries and 233 half-centuries while scoring 47,793 runs with an average of 44.91.

Reflecting on his induction into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, Graveney said: "My initial reaction was that I must have been the last of the 55 to have been picked. It is an enormous honour and I feel very fortunate. When you look at the list it is so special and to see some of the great players that I played with and against on that list makes me especially proud."

May played 66 Tests for England in a career spanning 10 years, scoring 4,537 runs, including 13 centuries and finished with an average of 46.77. He also captained England in a then-record 41 Tests, winning 20 and losing only 10. He played in 21 Tests against Australia between 1951 and 1961 in which he scored 1,566 runs, including three centuries, at an average of just over 46. After finishing his playing career in 1961, May served on the England selection committee from 1965 to 1968 and returned as chairman of selectors from 1982 to 1988.

May was president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) in 1981 and served as an ICC match referee for three Tests and seven ODIs in 1992. He died at his home in Hampshire on December 27, 1994, four days short of his 65th birthday. May's widow, Virginia, received the cap on behalf of her husband. She said: "It's a great honour and I am very proud to collect the cap on Peter's behalf. I wish he was here to collect it himself as I know he would also have been very proud.

"It's a long time since he played for England but it's nice to know his contribution is still appreciated and to have his name revived, particularly during a high profile Ashes match like this one and alongside a lovely man like Tom Graveney."

Ian Chappell, whose grandfather Vic Richardson played 19 Tests for Australia from 1924 to 1936 and younger brothers Greg and Trevor also represented Australia at the highest level, appeared in 75 Tests from 1964 to 1980, scoring 5,345 runs, including 14 centuries and finished with an average of 42.42. Chappell appeared in 30 Ashes Tests in which he scored 2,138 runs, including four centuries and 14 half-centuries, at an average of 41.12. He also captained Australia in a then record 30 Tests, winning 15 and losing five. The highlight of Chappell's career was Australia's 4-1 victory over England in 1974-75 that reclaimed the Ashes. Chappell's side also retained the Ashes in 1975. Chappell played in 16 ODIs, 11 as captain, scoring 674 runs at an average of 48. He was the Australia captain in the inaugural World Cup in 1975 where his side lost the final to the West Indies by 17 runs. Chappell was his side's top scorer with 62.

Commenting on his induction, Chappell said: "One of the reasons I was attracted to play cricket, especially Test cricket, was because my father would take me to the Adelaide Oval to watch many of the greats - Australian players like Miller, Lindwall and Benaud but also some of the England players like Hutton, Compton and Peter May. Through my grandfather, who also played Test cricket, I heard stories of the earlier generation like Bill O'Reilly.

"To find yourself in a list that includes such great players is satisfying and humbling. Receiving recognition like this is not why you play the game in the first place - I just hoped one day to play at the Adelaide Oval - but it does make you feel proud.

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.

File Photograph Copyright: National Archive of Australia