Selectors were given a flying start when it came to electing the club’s intake of Honorary Cricket members last month, with three of the greatest players of the modern era topping the list of candidates up for consideration.
Australian pair Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne and West Indian superstar Brian Lara were automatic inclusions once they became eligible.
The trio, whose records speak for themselves, are among 16 cricketers – including two females – recognised for their performances at international level.
Warne and McGrath were among 11 Australians in this year’s intake, including former teammates Justin Langer, Jason Gillespie, Damien Martyn, Darren Lehmann and Andy Bichel.
Also joining the club are gritty opening batsman Bruce Laird, left-arm off spinner Ray Bright and female top-liners Belinda Clark and Cathryn Fitzpatrick.
Leg-spinner Warne (708 wickets at 25.41) and frugal paceman McGrath (563 wickets at 21.64) respectively are the second and fourth-highest wicket takers in Test history.
The pair was a driving force behind Australia’s dominance throughout the 1990s and 2000s, as well as being key members of World Cup triumphs.
Left-handed Lara must surely rank alongside Viv Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers as one of the best West Indian batsmen to have played the game.
A stylish entertainer capable of batting for long periods, the Trinidadian scored 11,953 Test runs (fifth highest in history) and holds the game’s highest-ever Test score of 400 not out against England in 2004.
Lara is joined by England batsman Graham Thorpe (6744 Test runs at 44.66), Sri Lankan dynamo Aravinda De Silva (6361 runs at 42.97), New Zealand’s Chris Cairns (3320 runs and 218 wickets) and Zimbabwe’s Heath Streak (216 wickets at 28.14) as internationals included in this year’s intake.
While statistics are not comparable with males due to the contrast in volume of matches played, batsman Clark and fast bowler Fitzpatrick are widely regarded as two of the finest female players to have represented Australia.
An opening batsman and long-time captain, Clark averaged 45.95 in Tests and 47.49 in ODI matches. In September, she became only the second female to be inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. Australia lost only 17 of 101 games under her leadership.
Fitzpatrick was universally regarded as the world’s fastest female bowler for her entire 16-year career. Figures of 60 Test wickets at 19.11 and 180 ODI wickets at 16.79 add weight to that argument.
The committee may, from time to time, elect as an Honorary Cricket member such person or persons who it considers is or has been a prominent international cricketer. View the complete list.
Honorary Cricket members may be issued with a membership card allowing them admission to the Members Reserve and are not required to pay any fees, subscriptions and levies except as specifically determined and fixed by the committee.
They are not, however, entitled to other rights and privileges of being a member of the club, unless that Honorary Cricket member is also a member in another capacity.
HONORARY CRICKET MEMBERS
Chris Cairns (NZ)
Aravinda De Silva (SL)
Brian Lara (WI)
Heath Streak (Zim)
Graham Thorpe (Eng)