Former fly-half and head coach of the senior men’s side, Justin Langer was 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 four times.
Thompson and Langer become the 58th and 59th inductees respectively since the establishment of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 1996.
Langer began coaching after retiring from international cricket and following successful stints with Western Australian and Perth Scorchers, Langer was appointed coach of the Australian men’s cricket team in May 2018, and led them to the World Cup title. 2021 T20 ICC world and helped the team retain the Ashes in 2019 and 2021-22.
“Justin’s contribution to Australian cricket spans four distinct decades,” said Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Chairman Peter King.
The 58th inductee into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame!
— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) January 27, 2022
“First as a player, as part of one of the most successful teams world cricket has ever seen. leads the Australian men’s cricket team with great distinction, a team of which the Australian public is very proud.
The duo of Langer and Hyaden amassed 6,081 runs together from 122 Test runs at an average of 51.53, including 14 century partnerships.
The gritty Langer made his Test debut against West Indies at the Adelaide Oval in 1993 with a gritty 54, an innings in which he was hit in the helmet by an Ian Bishop delivery.
Langer, 51, finished his career with 7,696 carries at an average of 45.27.
He also played in eight One-Day Internationals during an 18-year career and played top-class cricket for Western Australia, Middlesex and Somerset, scoring 28,382 runs at an average of 50 ,23.
However, Langer spent the early years of his Test career at No.3, which included his famous winning partnership with Adam Gilchrist to chase 369 against Pakistan in Hobart in 1999.
Thompson, who hails 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 win a five-wicket first run in Test matches at 39 years and 175 days.
Of Thompson, King said, “Raelee is also a deserved induction, given her outstanding contribution to the game at a time when there was little fanfare at the elite level.
“She is undoubtedly one of our great pioneering cricketers and represented the Baggy Green with such distinction – she is a worthy recipient of that recognition.”
Todd Greenberg, CEO of the Australian Cricketers Association and member of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee, added: “Raelee is an ambassador and an adornment of the women’s game and was part of a team of pioneering women – including four games as captain – who can be credited with the success of the current Australian women’s cricket team.
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 being a manager for many years.
“Raelee’s commitment to improving women’s cricket at all levels through mentoring and administrative roles is inspiring.
“To this day, she remains a prominent figure in cricket, particularly at the Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies Cricket Club where she is a life member. She is very deserving of her induction,” said Greenberg.