McGrath, Turner to be inducted into Australian Cricket Hall of Fame

Melbourne, Feb 3 (IANS) Former Australian fast bowlers Glenn McGrath and Charlie Turner will be inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame (ACHoF) at the Allan Border Medal here Monday night.

ACHoF chairman David Crow Sunday announced that McGrath and Turner were the selection committee's unanimous choice for induction this year.

"Glenn McGrath and Charlie Turner were each the outstanding Australian fast bowler of their era. Despite careers more than a century apart, they had much in common," said Crow.

"Tall, right-arm fast bowlers, both men hailed from country New South Wales. Their superb records demonstrate the dominance each had over opposition batsmen over a prolonged period."

Thrust into Test cricket in 1993 with limited first-class experience, McGrath became the greatest Australian fast bowler of his generation. In a 14-year Test career spanning 124 matches, McGrath's 563 wickets at 21.64 is the highest tally by a fast bowler and fourth-highest of all-time, behind Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and Anil Kumble.

His unrelenting accuracy and immaculate length also posed problems for batsmen in limited-overs internationals, with his 381 wickets the sixth-highest in history. In the 2007 World Cup, McGrath's took a record 26 wickets and was named Man of the Tournament.

Winner of the Allan Border Medal (2000) and named Wisden Cricketer of the Year (1998), McGrath was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in December last year.

McGrath said he was delighted to be inducted into the ACHoF and will fly from India to attend the ceremony.

"I grew up in the country, watching and loving cricket from a young age, and the thought of playing for Australia was a dream. To achieve that, to be lucky enough to play for as long as I did and now to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, is a huge honour. To be featured alongside some of my heroes growing up is pretty amazing," said McGrath.

On the other hand, Charlie Turner was a formidable opponent, particularly on wet surfaces. Turner took 6/15 on Test debut at Sydney in 1887, helping dismiss England for 45, which remains the lowest total by England against Australia.

In 17 Test matches between 1887 and 1895 - all against England - Turner took 101 wickets at 16.53, the best average by an Australian bowler with more than 100 wickets. Turner reached 50 Test wickets in a record six matches.

In 1887-88, Turner became the first bowler to take 100 wickets in an Australian first-class season, a record that stands today. He took almost 1000 wickets in a first-class career of almost 20 years.

Turner was described in his obituary in Wisden as "a bowler ranking with the best ever produced by Australia, and by many who played against him".

The ACHoF was first proposed by the Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) in 1995 and officially opened in 1996. It is now located inside the National Sports Museum at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

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