Former opener and current head coach of the senior men’s side, Justin Langer has been inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame alongside Raelee Thompson, one of the pioneers of the women’s game in the country. During his successful career as a player, Langer had formed a formidable pairing with Matthew Hayden in Test cricket, playing a key role in Australia’s dominance in the early and mid 2000s. Former fast bowler Thompson, 76, captained the Australian team on four occasions.
Thompson and Langer become the 58th and 59th inductees respectively, since the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame was established in 1996.
Langer took up coaching after his retirement from international cricket and following successful stints at Western Australian and Perth Scorchers, Langer was appointed coach of the Australian men’s cricket team in May 2018, and led them to the ICC 2021 T20 World Cup title and helped the team retain the Ashes in 2019 and 2021-2022.
“Justin’s contribution to Australian cricket spans across four separate decades,” Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Chairman Peter King said.
“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.” The duo of Langer and Hyaden amassed 6,081 runs together from 122 Test innings at an average of 51.53, including 14 century partnerships.
The gritty Langer made his Test debut against the West Indies at the Adelaide Oval in 1993 with a gritty 54, an innings during which he was hit on the helmet by an Ian Bishop delivery.
The 51-year-old Langer finished his career with 7696 runs at an 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.
However, Langer spent the first years of his Test career at No. 3, which included his famous match-winning partnership with Adam Gilchrist to chase down 369 against Pakistan in Hobart in 1999.
Thompson, hailing from Shepparton in Victoria, played 16 Tests and 23 One Day Internationals for Australia between 1972 and 1985.
Thompson remains the oldest player – male or female – to take a maiden five-wicket haul in Test matches at 39 years and 175 days of age.
About Thompson, King said, “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, the CEO of Australian Cricketers’ Association and a member of the selection panel for the Hall of Fame, added,” 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.
Thompson took 57 Test wickets at an average of 18.24 and 24 One-Day International wickets at 18.66. She also represented Victoria on 45 occasions before serving as a selector for many years.
“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,” Greenberg said.
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