Cathryn Fitzpatrick inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Cathryn Fitzpatrick. ©Getty Images

Cathryn Fitzpatrick, former Australia fast bowler, was inducted in ICC’s Hall of Fame in London on Thursday (July 18). She thus became the eighth woman and fourth Australian— Belinda Clark, Betty Wilson and Karen Rolton the others— to receive the honour.

Fitzpatrick was the fastest bowler of her era, consistently pushing the 120-125 kmph mark through her 16-year career. She forced batters on to the back foot and often beat them for pace. That she spent a record 2113 days ranked as the No.1 ODI bowler in the world between 2000 and 2007 is evidence of her absolute dominance.

“To gain recognition alongside many of the games’ giants is a huge honour,” Fitzpatrick said. “I look at the list of past inductees and what stands out most is not only their outstanding talent, but that they were game changers. They took the game on and changed the way it was played.”

A two-time World Cup winner, the fast bowler was the first woman to take 150 wickets in ODIs. Her tally of 180 wickets in ODIs— a long-standing record that was broken by Jhulan Goswami only in 2017— came at an astounding average of 16.79 in only 109 matches. 12 years since her retirement, she is still the second highest wicket-taker in ODIs. Her tally includes 33 wickets across four World Cups.

Fitzpatrick was equally devastating with the red ball, picking up 60 wickets in 13 Tests including two five wicket hauls. She finished as the joint fourth-highest wicket-taker in the format alongside Myrtle Maclagen of England and Shubhangi Kulkarni from India.

“Looking back, I can think of many highlights, which include winning the World Cup in 1997 and 2005, but it is a tour of England in 1998 where the Women’s Ashes was conceived that stands out,” she added. “Playing five ODI’s followed by three Test Matches on a tour lasting six weeks was a time that I felt I was just a cricketer and didn’t have to combine work alongside playing.”

“I have had many people over the journey who have guided me as coaches, team-mates, administrators and friends and I would like to thank them all.”

Following her retirement from international cricket, Fitzpatrick enjoyed a successful stint coaching the Australian team. Under her guidance Australia won three World Cups between 2012 and 2014— two Women’s T20 World Cups in 2012 and 2014, and their sixth ODI World Cup in 2013.

Fitzpatrick was recognised by the ICC in a formal ceremony in London alongside fellow inductees Sachin Tendulkar and Allan Donald.