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Border, Harvey, Gower, Underwood inducted into Hall of Fame

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allan_border.jpgAustralia's Neil Harvey and Allan Border alongside England's Derek Underwood and David Gower were inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during the tea interval on the first day of the second Ashes Test at Lord's on Thursday.

All the four men were presented with their commemorative caps by International Cricket Council (ICC) President David Morgan, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chairman and ICC director Giles Clarke, Cricket Australia (CA) Chairman and ICC director Jack Clarke alongside MCC secretary Keith Bradshaw in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd at Lord's.

Border, Harvey, Gower and Underwood are part of a group of 22 Englishmen and 13 Australians within the initial intake of 55 players i n the Hall of Fame*, a joint venture between the ICC and the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA).

In a career spanning 16 years, Border played 156 Tests for Australia, scoring 11, 174 runs including 27 centuries and finishing with an average of 50.56. He captained Australia in 93 Tests from 1984 to 1994 - a world record - winning 32 and losing 22. At the point of his retirement in 1994, he had featured in more Tests, more consecutive Tests, more Tests as captain and taken more catches than any other player.

In the one-day format of the game, Border played a total of 273 matches, scoring 6,524 runs averaging 30.62 and was captain of the side which won the World Cup in 1987 in the Asian subcontinent.

Border became the first batsman to score 150 in both innings of a Test match when he made 150 not out and 153 against Pakistan in Lahore in 1980. However, one of his finest performances was against a rampant West Indies pace attack when he made 98 not out and 100 not out in Port-of-Spain in 1984.

Border said of receiving the accolade: "It is obviously a great honour to be receiving this award. It's also extremely rewarding to be named alongside great cricketers whom I regarded as heroes when I was growing up."

Harvey played in 79 Test matches, scoring 6, 149 runs, scoring 21 centuries and 24 half-centuries in a career that started in Adelaide against India in 1948 and concluded fittingly against England at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1963.

Harvey said upon receiving his cap: "Receiving this Hall of Fame cap is one of the highlights of my cricketing career. To be recognised on the list of initial inductees and classed within this group of players gives me a great amount of satisfaction. It is a real honour to be included in it." The 80-year-old concluded: "The Ashes has always been the series of all-time and I have some great memories of playing in them. As a player, scoring my first century in my first Test match against England in 1948 with Sir Don Bradman as captain was a definite highlight, as was my successful experience as captain of Australia at Lord's in 1961 when Richie Benaud was injured."

Current MCC President and former England bowler Derek Underwood played in 86 Tests and took a total of 297 wickets, including 10 wickets in a match six times. He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1969 and was awarded MBE in 1981.

The left-arm spin bowler who earned the nickname 'Deadly' from his Kent team-mates when playing county cricket took 2,465 first-class wickets in a total of 676 matches said of his induction: "It is an honour and a privilege to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. I am doubly honoured to be receiving this award today, on the first day of an Ashes Test match at Lord's in the year of my MCC Presidency. On such an auspicious occasion, it is humbling to be standing alongside two great Australian cricketers in Neil Harvey and Allan Border, in addition to one of the best-ever English batsmen, David Gower."

England batsman David Gower made his England debut in 1978 against Pakistan and went onto represent England in 117 Test matches. He was the captain of the England team that regained the 1985 Ashes by defeating Australia 3-1. However, England failed to defend the Ashes in 1989 as Australia won the series 4-0. In all, he captained England in 32 Tests, winning five and losing 18.

The left-hand stylish and elegant left-hander amassed 8,231 runs averaging 44.25 and collecting 18 centuries along the way. The 1979 Wisden Cricketer of the Year also played in 114 one-day internationals, scoring 3, 170 runs, including making seven centuries.

Gower said of his induction into the Hall of Fame: "It is a great honour to be inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and to have my cricketing career recognised in such a way. To be named alongside so many cricketers whom I have such a high regard for is extremely gratifying, for instance Sir Garfield Sobers and Graeme Pollock were great heroes of mine when I first watched the game and to be bracketed with them is tremendous."

Other ICC Cricket Hall of Famers to have received their caps so far in 2009 are legendary New Zealand all-rounder Richard Hadlee, former Australian greats Rod Marsh and Ian Chappell, 12 former West Indies players or their family members or representatives - batting greats Clive Lloyd, Vivian Richards and Rohan Kanhai, champion all-rounder Garfield Sobers, the three Ws Everton Weekes, Clyde Walcott and Frank Worrell, opener Gordon Greenidge, fast bowlers Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall and Andy Roberts, and star off-spinner Lance Gibbs - also ex-South Africa batsmen Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock, former Pakistan stalwarts Javed Miandad and Hanif Mohammad and England's Alec Bedser, Colin Cowdrey, Tom Graveney and Peter May.


*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.