Former Test opener and current Australia men's head coach Justin Langer on Thursday was inducted into the Australian Hall of Fame. Apart from Langer, former fast bowler and women's team captain Raelee Thompson was also inducted into the hall of fame.Raelee and Langer become the 58th and 59th inductees respectively of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame, established in 1996. "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," said CA CEO Nick Hockley.Langer, who debuted in Test cricket 29 years ago, made 105 appearances while wearing the Australian Baggy Green, scoring 7,696 runs at an average of 45.27. He spent the first years of his career at number three, including when famously partnering with Adam Gilchrist to chase down 369 to beat Pakistan in Hobart in 1999.
"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," added Hockley.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.
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 Western Australia 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 2021/22.
Raelee, on the other hand, hailing from Shepparton in Victoria's northeast, is considered 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. Raelee 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."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," said Hockey.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's Ashes trophy after a 30-year hiatus. Raelee took 57 Test wickets at an average of 18.24 and 24 One-Day International wickets at 18.66.