LAHORE Pakistan batting heroes Hanif Mohammad and Javed Miandad became the latest players to be inducted formally into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, in Lahore on Sunday.
The duo received their commemorative caps from Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman and International Cricket Council (ICC) director Ijaz Butt at a ceremony during tea on day one of the second Test against Sri Lanka as ICC General Manager - Cricket, the former South Africa wicketkeeper David Richardson, looked on.
Together with ex-all-round great Imran Khan, Hanif and Javed form the Pakistani contingent in the initial intake of 55 players into the Hall of Fame*, a joint venture between the ICC and the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA).
And after the ceremony Hanif said 'This is a great honour for me, my country and my cricket board. This is something special.
'What I've done in the past for myself and my country, achieving a few records and whatever else has come my way in cricket, I now have my reward and it can't be better than this.
'I'm very grateful to be honoured and also surprised because my name is with so many great cricketers of the world. I don't think I deserve this honour but I'm grateful for being selected to receive it,' he added.
Hanif might not think he deserved the honour but his contribution to the game said otherwise.
His innings of 337 against the West Indies in Barbados in 1957/58 not only saved a Test match for his country but even now, more than 50 years later, it remains the longest Test innings of all time, recorded by Wisden at 970 minutes.
And his score of 499, for Karachi against Bahawalpur in 1958/59, was the highest first-class score in history for 35 years until Brian Lara beat it with his 501 not out for Warwickshire against Durham in 1994.
Hanif played 55 Tests for Pakistan and was the batting standard-bearer for the side in its early years at the highest level, eventually finishing with 3,915 runs at 43.98, including 12 hundreds.
He captained his country 11 times with two wins, two losses and seven draws and made 17,059 runs in his first-class career.
Javed said after receiving his cap 'I'm very proud to have received this award and it's a great pleasure for me.
'Thanks to my people, my country and the PCB for choosing me. They gave me my long career and whatever I've done in that career, the result is the award I've now received.
'There are many players who have played the game around the world and so to be among the first 55 named makes me very proud.
'It gives me great pleasure and confidence that I've done something for my country and in cricket,' he added.
Javed's total of Test runs, 8,832 in 124 matches, makes him Pakistan's top run-scorer of all time in that form of the game, averaging 52.57 with 23 hundreds. It also places him tenth on the list of leading Test run-getters from all teams.
He pouched 93 catches in the longest form of the game, a Pakistan record, and led his country in 34 Tests, losing just six of them while winning 14 and drawing 14. Only Imran has captained the country more often in Test cricket.
In One-Day Internationals (ODIs) Javed played in six consecutive ICC Cricket World Cups, from 1975 through to 1996 and made 7,381 runs in that form of the game, including eight hundreds. Only Inzamam-ul-Haq (11,739), Mohamad Yousuf (9,242) and Saeed Anwar (8,824) have totaled more for Pakistan.
Javed led his country in 61 ODIs, leaving him fifth in the list of most appearances as captain for Pakistan behind Imran (139), Wasim Akram (109), Inzamam (86) and Waqar Younis (62).
Ijaz Butt added his praise for the players and for the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame when he said 'It was a great honour for me to present these awards on behalf of the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and the country of Pakistan.
'The credit goes to the players for what they have done and the PCB and the country can be very proud of them.
'I was on the tour when Hanif made his 337 and I don't think there could be a better player. If he was playing now he would have broken all records.
'And ask anybody in Pakistan about Javed and they will remember his innings in Sharjah when he hit Chetan Sharma for six to win the game against India. I think he is one of the greatest cricketers,' added Ijaz.
The cap presentation ceremony is a key part of the celebrations to mark the ICC's centenary year as it acknowledges the greats of the game and the contributions they have made to ensure cricket is a great sport with a great spirit.
Other ICC Cricket Hall of Famers to have received their caps so far in 2009 are ex-Australia wicketkeeper Rodney Marsh, nine former West Indies players or their family members or representatives - batting great 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 and fast bowlers Michael Holding, Malcolm Marshall and Andy Roberts - and also ex-South Africa batsmen Barry Richards and Graeme Pollock.
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.
*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.
High-quality audio, including reactions in Urdu from Hanif and Javed, available for free download and use at the ICC's website http//icc-cricket.yahoo.com/audio/audio.html