Ex-cricketers Taylor, Walters to join Aussie cricket hall of fame

Monday, February 7, 2011

MELBOURNE - Former Australian Test skipper Mark Taylor and former middle-order great Doug Walters will join exalted company on Monday when they become the latest inductees in the Hall of Fame.

Taylor, 46, captained Australia from 1994 to 1999 as his team built a formidable record as the world’s No.1 cricket nation.

With an attacking brand of captaincy that shook up Test cricket and more than 7,500 runs across his 104 Tests, Taylor’s legacy of success lasted through Steve Waugh’s captaincy and the first part of Ricky Ponting’s before serious decline over the past 12 months.

“Our side’s probably not in as good a health as it was a few years ago, but that happens. Form is like that, but health-wise, the game’s in good shape,” The Sydney Morning Herald quoted Taylor, as saying.

“Obviously after the Ashes series, I was concerned (about the World Cup). But watching the way the guys have played over the last couple of weeks (in the one-day series against England) has given me a renewed confidence. I still think they’re a way short of playing their best cricket and they’re still able to win games of cricket against a good English side. I think we’re pretty well placed,” Taylor added.

On the advent of Twenty20 cricket, an excited Taylor said how the powers-that-be harness the dollars and interest around the shortened version of the game, while keeping the Test tradition paramount, would be critical to cricket’s future.

“The game’s in a transient state at the moment. All of us are trying to work out where to take the game with Big Bash, IPL and Twenty20 in general. But we’ve got to make sure we don’t lose a great part of the game, and that’s what Test match cricket and Ashes cricket in particular is all about,” he said.

Walters, now 65, played 74 Tests from the mid-1960s until his retirement in 1981 and was renowned for his free-scoring strokeplay and knockabout nature.

With Taylor and Walters induction, Australian cricket’s hall of fame membership rises to 34. (ANI)

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