Hockley, Simpson to be inducted in ICC Hall of Fame

Dubai, Dec 30 : The International Cricket Council (ICC) Monday announced that Debbie Hockley and Bob Simpson will be inducted into their Hall of Fame in a special function in Sydney Jan 2.

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 Hall of Fame.

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 elite list.

Born Nov 7, 1962, in Christchurch, Hockley made her international debut in January 1979 featuring in the third Test against Australia in Melbourne. In December 2000, she announced her retirement after the Women's World Cup final in Lincoln where New Zealand beat Australia by 4 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 One-Day Internationals (ODI) 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.

"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," Hockley said.

Simpson, born Feb 3, 1936, in Marrickville, Sydney, played 62 Tests and two ODIs for Australia (1957-1978). 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 5/57 against England in the 1963-64 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, they lost 1-3 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.

Simpson later started his coaching career in 1985-86 when he was appointed the Australia coach. When he handed over the baton to Geoff Marsh after the 1996 World Cup, Australia was a force to be reckoned with.

During his tenure, Australia won the 1987 World Cup and reached the 1996 final, won four consecutive Ashes (1989, 1990-91, 1993, 1994-95) and ended the West Indies' 15-year unbeaten run in Tests in 1995, in their own backyard.

Simpson also worked as India's consultant coach in 1998-99, during the 1999 World Cup.

"It is a huge honour for me to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. To be inducted in the elite group in Sydney 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," said Simpson, who also served as an ICC match referee in the 1990s.

"I would like to thank all the living members of the 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."

--IANS (Posted on 30-12-2013)

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