Sir Richard Hadlee to launch ICC centenary medal during New Zealand’s Catch the Spirit week

Iconic all-rounder Sir Richard Hadlee will launch the ICC centenary medal on Friday during New Zealand’s Catch the Spirit week which will be celebrated during the third Test between New Zealand and India at Basin Reserve in Wellington.

Sir Richard will present medals to 10 Wellington-based volunteers during the lunch interval on the first day of the third Test as it forms part of a total of 50 individuals across the country from nominations made to New Zealand Cricket, with those medals a recognition of their hard work on behalf of the game.

The medals are an expression of gratitude for the unsung work of those volunteers who ensure cricket is a great sport with a great spirit.

On a day of awards, Sir Richard will also receive his ICC Cricket Hall of Fame cap from ICC President David Morgan. The ceremonies are the highlight of the ICC’s Catch the Spirit week in the country, aimed at promoting the organisation’s centenary celebrations.

The presentation to be made by Sir Richard is the first of a series of similar ceremonies that will take place around the world marking the contributions of individuals who ensure cricket is a strong sport growing stronger.

The ICC has struck 1000 medals and asked all 104 of its Members to use them to recognise the contribution of volunteers to the sport’s ever-increasing popularity.

Commenting on the launch of the ICC centenary medal, ICC President David Morgan said: “The medals are a reflection that cricket, like all other sports, could not survive without the selfless acts on behalf of the game by countless volunteers – coaches, curators, scorers, drivers, security personnel and the such.

“The volunteers are instrumental in preserving cricket’s special values as well as sustaining and developing the game at the grassroots and nurturing the stars of the future.”

On Friday, Sir Richard will also become the first New Zealand player to be formally inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame when he receives a commemorative cap to mark the occasion.

Hadlee, the son of former New Zealand captain Walter and brother of  Dayle and Barry, is the only New Zealander in the initial intake of 55 players in the Hall of Fame*, a joint venture between the ICC and the Federation of International Cricketers’ Associations (FICA).

Hadlee is regarded as one of the greatest exponents of the new ball. A master of conventional swing bowling, he was also one of the four outstanding all-rounders of his time along with Imran Khan of Pakistan, England’s Ian Botham and Kapil Dev of India.

Born in Christchurch on 3 July 1951, Hadlee became New Zealand’s 126th Test player when he made his debut against Pakistan in February 1973. And when he retired in July 1990 after playing in 86 Tests, he had already taken 431 wickets (at the time the world record) at an average of 22.29, including five wickets in an innings 36 times and 10 wickets in a match on nine occasions. He also scored 3,124 runs, including two centuries and 15 half-centuries.

Hadlee was also a member of the New Zealand team that played its first-ever ODI in February 1973. New Zealand beat Pakistan by 22 runs in that historic match in Christchurch with Dale (4-34) outshining his younger brother who finished with figures of 5-0-37-0. Hadlee went on to play 115 ODIs in which he took 158 wickets and scored 1,751 runs.

Hadlee also played first-class cricket for Canterbury, Nottinghamshire and Tasmania, and captured 1,490 wickets in 342 matches at an average of 18.11, including five wickets in an innings 102 times and 10 wickets in a match 18 times. He also scored 12,052 runs at an average of 31.71, including 14 centuries and 59 half-centuries.

Hadlee was declared New Zealand’s Sportsman of the Year in 1980 and 1986, New Zealand’s Sportsperson for the last 25 Years in 1987 (shared with runner John Walker) before being adjudged New Zealand’s Sportsperson of the Decade in 1987. He was Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1982.

Hadlee was appointed Member of British Empire (MBE) in 1981 and knighted in 1990 for his services to cricket.

Other ICC Cricket Hall of Famers to have received their caps so far in 2009 are ex-Australia wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh, 11 former West Indies players or their family members or representatives – batting greats Clive Lloyd and Sir Vivian Richards, champion all-rounder Sir Garfield Sobers, the three Ws Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Clyde Walcott and Sir Frank Worrell, opener Gordon Greenidge, fast bowlers Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall and Andy Roberts, and star off-spinner Lance Gibbs – also ex-South Africa batsmen Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock – and former Pakistan stalwarts Javed Miandad, Hanif Mohammad and Imran Khan.

Further cap presentations will be made during the course of the year and a limited number of inductees, in addition to the 55 already chosen, will be named during 2009.

The Catch the Spirit week in Wellington is part of a range of activities across New Zealand to celebrate the spirit of cricket and 100 years of the ICC.

Catch the Spirit week also celebrates the role of cricket in promoting health and social concerns around the world. The ICC guests will join with New Zealand Cricket at a special function with NZC’s charity of choice, St John, in Wellington today.

Other Centenary activities in Wellington include a celebration of women’s cricket, with representative female cricketers of all ages taking part in mini games on the Basin Reserve during the lunch interval on day two of the Test (Saturday 4 April).

The ICC’s Catch the Spirit flag will also be present at the Wellington Test match as it continues its trip around the planet.

The flag, which has already been to Australia, Bangladesh, Antigua and Barbuda, South Africa and Pakistan is one of the symbols of the centenary and throughout 2009 the ICC will be asking people to sign it as it makes its way throughout the cricket world.

At the end of the 12-month period it will be a reflection of the year in world cricket.

The signing process began in Sydney where Australia and South Africa locked horns in the New Year Test match as former players Tony Greig (England), Richie Benaud, Mark Taylor, Ian Chappell, Stephen Waugh, Bill Lawry, Ian Healy and Shane Warne (all Australia) as well as current women’s players Lisa Sthalekar (Australia), Isa Guha and Holly Colvin (England) and several other cricketing figures all supplied their autographs.

*ICC Cricket Hall of Fame – initial inductees (55):

Sydney Barnes, Bishan Bedi, Alec Bedser, Richie Benaud, Allan Border, Ian Botham, Geoffrey Boycott, Donald Bradman, Greg Chappell, Ian Chappell, Denis Compton, Colin Cowdrey, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Lance Gibbs, Graham Gooch, David Gower, WG Grace, Tom Graveney, Gordon Greenidge, Richard Hadlee, Walter Hammond, Neil Harvey, George Headley, Jack Hobbs, Michael Holding, Leonard Hutton, Rohan Kanhai, Imran Khan, Alan Knott, Jim Laker, Harold Larwood, Dennis Lillee, Ray Lindwall, Clive Lloyd, Hanif Mohammad, Rodney Marsh, Malcolm Marshall, Peter May, Javed Miandad, Keith Miller, Bill O’Reilly, Graeme Pollock, Wilfred Rhodes, Barry Richards, Vivian Richards, Andy Roberts, Garfield Sobers, Brian Statham, Fred Trueman, Derek Underwood, Clyde Walcott, Everton Weekes, Frank Woolley, Frank Worrell.

About the ICC centenary year

ICC President David Morgan and Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat officially launched the ICC centenary year in Sydney, Australia on 2 January by announcing the formation of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, in association with FICA.

The ICC’s centenary year of 2009 will be a global celebration with events taking place around the world to reflect all that is great about the game.

On the field these events include the ICC Women’s World Cup (won by England), the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, the ICC World Twenty20 event for men and women and the ICC Champions Trophy.

And off the field there will be the opening of the ICC Global Cricket Academy and the inauguration of the ICC’s new headquarters, both of which are in Dubai, and an ICC cricket history conference at St Antony’s College, Oxford in the United Kingdom in July.

The ICC will also be celebrating the contribution of volunteers across the world through the award of 1,000 centenary medals and will announce new developments to its social responsibility partnership on HIV/AIDS.

During the course of 2009, each of the ICC’s 104 Members will be hosting activities inspired by the special spirit of cricket as part of the global Catch the Spirit centenary celebration.

To promote this theme and the launch of the ICC’s centenary year website, www.catchthespirit.com, stars of the international game have named their “Catch the Spirit” moments which best encapsulate the spirit of cricket.

Among those stars that can be seen on the website, Yuvraj Singh of India speaks of his experiences in Pakistan – India matches and South Africa’s Jacques Kallis reflects on his side’s famous chase of 438 to beat Australia in an ODI in Johannesburg.

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