Melbourne : The Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Committee, together with Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA), on Thursday announced Raelee Thompson and Justin Langer as the 2022 inductees in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame.
Thompson and Langer become the 58th and 59th inductees respectively, since the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame was established in 1996. A left-handed batter hailing from Scarborough Cricket Club in Perth's north-west, Langer's toughness and resilience as a cricketer was on display from the beginning of his Test career.
Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia CEO, in an official release said: "Honouring inductees to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame is an important and special moment for the sport. Justin and Raelee are extremely deserving inductees and it is wonderful to acknowledge and celebrate the immense achievements and contributions of these legends of our game.
"Justin has had a tremendous impact on Australian cricket, both at the top of the order alongside Matthew Hayden, as a coach of Western Australia and more recently as Head Coach of the Australian men's team. Raelee has been a leader and champion of cricket as a sport for women and girls through an incredible period of evolution, both as a proud player and captain of her country and continuing that passion towards ensuring that the game continues to progress and flourish for future generations," he added.
A gritty 54 on debut at the Adelaide Oval in 1993 that saw him hit on the helmet by West Indian fast bowler Ian Bishop signalled a player who relished the challenge of international cricket. He spent the first years of his career at No.3, including when famously partnering with Adam Gilchrist to chase down 369 to beat Pakistan in Hobart in 1999.
Langer moved to the top of the order in 2001, where he shared in Australia's most successful opening partnership in Test cricket with Matthew Hayden. The pair compiled 6,081 runs together from 122 Test innings at an average of 51.53, including 14 century stands.
A career built on fighting above his weight, Langer amassed 7,696 runs with a Test 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.
Following successful stints as coach of WA and Perth Scorchers, Langer was appointed coach of the Australian men's cricket team in May 2018, and led them to the Men's ICC 2021 T20 World Cup title and retaining the Ashes in 2019 and 2021-2022.
Raelee Thompson, hailing from Shepparton in Victoria's north-east, is one of the pioneers of the women's game. A fast bowler who played 16 Tests and 23 One Day Internationals for Australia between 1972 and 1985, she captained the team four times. Thompson is the oldest player - male or female - to take a maiden five-wicket haul in Test matches at 39 years and 175 days of age.
Her final Test match in 1985, the fifth and deciding Test match of the 1984-85 Women's Ashes series played in Bendigo, saw her lead the Australians to reclaim the Women' Ashes trophy after a 30-year hiatus. Thompson took 57 Test wickets at an average of 18.24 and 24 One-Day International wickets at 18.66.
Thompson also represented Victoria on 45 occasions before serving as a selector for many years. She has continued mentoring future generations of female cricketers at her home club, Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies Cricket Club and accepted Life Membership from Cricket Victoria in 2018.