Raelee Thompson and Justin Langer to be inducted into Australian Cricket Hall of Fame
The Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Committee, together with Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA), is delighted to announce Raelee Thompson and Justin Langer as the 2022 inductees in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES IMAGES AND VNR
Thompson and Langer become the 58th and 59th inductees respectively, since the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame was established in 1996.
A left-handed batter hailing from Scarborough Cricket Club in Perth’s north-west, Langer’s toughness and resilience as a cricketer was on display from the beginning of his Test career.
A gritty 54 on debut at the Adelaide Oval in 1993 that saw him hit on the helmet by West Indian fast bowler Ian Bishop signalled a player who relished the challenge of international cricket.
He spent the first years of his career at No.3, including when famously partnering with Adam Gilchrist to chase down 369 to beat Pakistan in Hobart in 1999.
Langer moved to the top of the order in 2001, where he shared in Australia’s most successful opening partnership in Test cricket with Matthew Hayden. The pair compiled 6,081 runs together from 122 Test innings at an average of 51.53, including 14 century stands.
A career built on fighting above his weight, Langer amassed 7,696 runs with a Test average of 45.27.
He also played in eight One Day Internationals in a career spanning 18 years and played first-class cricket for Western Australia, Middlesex and Somerset, scoring 28,382 runs at an average of 50.23.
Following successful stints as coach of WA and Perth Scorchers, Langer was appointed coach of the Australian men’s cricket team in May 2018, and led them to the Men’s ICC 2021 T20 World Cup title and retaining the Ashes in 2019 and 2021-2022.
Raelee Thompson, hailing from Shepparton in Victoria’s north-east, is one of the pioneers of the women’s game.
A fast bowler who played 16 Tests and 23 One Day Internationals for Australia between 1972 and 1985, she captained the team four times. Thompson is the oldest player – male or female – to take a maiden five-wicket haul in Test matches at 39 years and 175 days of age.
Her final Test match in 1985, the fifth and deciding Test match of the 1984-85 Women’s Ashes series played in Bendigo, saw her lead the Australians to reclaim the Women’ Ashes trophy after a 30-year hiatus.
Thompson took 57 Test wickets at an average of 18.24 and 24 One-Day International wickets at 18.66.
Thompson also represented Victoria on 45 occasions before serving as a selector for many years. She has continued mentoring future generations of female cricketers at her home club, Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies Cricket Club and accepted Life Membership from Cricket Victoria in 2018.
Peter King, Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Chairman, said:
“It was wonderful recognition for any cricketer to be inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame and, on behalf of the committee, it is honour to be inducting two cricketers who sit in the upper echelon of Australian cricket.
“Justin’s contribution to Australian cricket spans across four separate decades. First as a player, as part of one of the most successful teams that world cricket has ever seen. As a coach, he entered the role at a time of great need and leads the Australian Men’s Cricket Team with great distinction, a team which the Australian public is very proud of.
“Raelee is similarly a deserved induction, given her outstanding contribution to the game at a time where there was little fanfare at the elite level. She is no doubt one of our great pioneering female cricketers and represented the Baggy Green with such distinction – she is a worthy recipient of this recognition.”
Todd Greenberg, ACA CEO, said:
“The Australian Cricketers’ Association is humbled to induct two very deserving figures of Australian cricket into the Hall of Fame.
“Justin’s record as a player speaks for itself. His record as an opener underpinned one of the most successful eras of Australian cricket. And his influence on the game has extended beyond his playing career – firstly through his commitment to the betterment of Western Australian cricket which is almost unparalleled, right through to the national team set-up which has convincingly held the Ashes on the back of winning the T20 World Cup for the first time.
“Raelee is an ambassador and ornament to the Women’s game and was part of a team of trailblazing women – including four games as captain – who can be credited for the success that the current-day Australian Women’s Cricket Team enjoys. Raelee’s commitment to the betterment of women’s cricket at all levels through mentoring and administration roles is inspiring.
“To this day she remains a prominent figure in cricket, particularly at Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies Cricket Club where she is a Life Member. She is hugely deserving of her induction.”
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia CEO, said:
“Honouring inductees to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame is an important and special moment for the sport. Justin and Raelee are extremely deserving inductees and it is wonderful to acknowledge and celebrate the immense achievements and contributions of these legends of our game.
“Justin has had a tremendous impact on Australian cricket, both at the top of the order alongside Matthew Hayden, as a coach of Western Australia and more recently as Head Coach of the Australian men’s team.
“Raelee has been a leader and champion of cricket as a sport for women and girls through an incredible period of evolution, both as a proud player and captain of her country and continuing that passion towards ensuring that the game continues to progress and flourish for future generations.”
About the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame
The Australian Cricket Hall of Fame was first proposed by the Melbourne Cricket Club in 1995.
With the support of Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria, the Hall of Fame was officially opened by the then Prime Minister of Australia, the Honourable John Howard MP in 1996.
The selection philosophy for the hall of fame focuses on the players’ status as sporting legends in addition to their outstanding statistical records.
The selection panel is made up of representatives from all levels of cricket. Chaired by the current MCC Cricket Chairman, three former players are joined by the respective CEOs of Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association, along with two representatives from the media.
All inductees must have been retired from international cricket for a minimum of five years to be eligible for selection.
An inaugural group of ten players were inducted in 1996, and a further 47 players have been welcomed since:
HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
Inducted 1996 - Fred Spofforth, John Blackham, Victor Trumper, Clarrie Grimmett, Bill Ponsford, Sir Donald Bradman, Bill O’Reilly, Keith Miller, Ray Lindwall and Dennis Lillee
Inducted 2000 - Warwick Armstrong, Neil Harvey and Allan Border
Inducted 2001 - Bill Woodfull and Arthur Morris
Inducted 2002 - Stan McCabe and Greg Chappell
Inducted 2003 - Lindsay Hassett and Ian Chappell
Inducted 2004 - Hugh Trumble and Alan Davidson
Inducted 2005 - Clem Hill and Rod Marsh
Inducted 2006 - Monty Noble and Bob Simpson
Inducted 2007 - Charles Macartney and Richie Benaud
Inducted 2008 - George Giffen and Ian Healy
Inducted 2009 - Steve Waugh
Inducted 2010 - Bill Lawry and Graham McKenzie
Inducted 2011 - Mark Taylor and Doug Walters
Inducted 2012 - Shane Warne
Inducted 2013 - Charlie Turner and Glenn McGrath
Inducted 2014 - Mark Waugh and Belinda Clark
Inducted 2015 - Adam Gilchrist and Jack Ryder
Inducted 2016 - Jeff Thomson and Wally Grout
Inducted 2017 - David Boon, Matthew Hayden and Betty Wilson
Inducted 2018 - Norm O’Neill, Ricky Ponting and Karen Rolton
Inducted 2019 - Cathryn Fitzpatrick, Dean Jones and Billy Murdoch
Inducted 2020 - Sharon Tredrea and Craig McDermott
Inducted 2021 - Johnny Mullagh, Merv Hughes and Lisa Sthalekar
Inducted 2022 – Justin Langer and Raelee Thompson
ACHOF chairman and current MCC committee member Peter King
Former Test captain Belinda Clark
Former Test captain Mark Taylor
Former Test batsman and former MCC President Paul Sheahan
Australian Cricketers’ Association CEO Todd Greenberg
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley
Media representatives Ben Horne and Greg Baum