Lara and Bakewell were both extremely honoured to be inducted into the Hall of Fame
Legendary West Indies batsman Brian Lara, who to this day still holds the record for the highest individual Test score of 400, and former England all-rounder Enid Bakewell were the two newest inductees in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Hall of Fame during the annual awards ceremony in Colombo.
Lara is now the 17th West Indian cricketer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, while Bakewell became the third woman inductee after her captain and former team-mate Rachel Heyhoe-Flint and Australian Belinda Clark.
Bakewell represented England in 12 Tests, scoring an outstanding 1078 runs at an average of 59.88 and taking 50 wickets at an average of 16.62.
Bakewell is also one of only five cricketers, both male and female, to take 10 wickets and score a century in the same Test match, which she achieved in her last ever appearance for England against the West Indies at Edgbaston.
Upon receiving her award, Bakewell dwelled on the fact of how she felt so honoured to be the third woman inductee, but also went on to state that her personal landmarks were not the things she remembered most about her illustrious career.
“I wasn’t interested in my own success, as long as we got a win and we were part of a very good team, that was the most important thing. I couldn’t have done it without our brilliant wicketkeeper (Shirley Hodges),” Bakewell said.
ICC chief executive Dave Richardson noted that Lara’s inclusion had been a “mere formality”, while former Australian pace bowler Craig McDermott said that the best thing he would remember most about Lara was his “very broad bat”, which was in reference to Lara’s score of 277 at Sydney, which really made the cricketing world take notice of him.
Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson also paid tribute to Lara, saying that he remembered seeing him play as a youngster and that he was really impressed at how far Lara had come in his international career.
Lara’s crowning achievements of 375 and 400 against England, along with the 501 he scored for Warwickshire in county cricket were given special mention during his induction ceremony.
However, Lara, like Bakewell, remembered team performances that led to victory instead of focusing on individual records.
Lara noted how his 213 runs against Australia in Kingston had levelled the series, and the 153 he scored in the very next match helped West Indies to a one wicket victory over the Australians.
When asked which bowlers give him the toughest time during his international career, Lara said that Australia’s pace-spin duo of Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne had given him some of his most memorable moments on the cricket field.
The ICC will announce two new inductees to the Hall of Fame later this year.