Legendary Australian pacer Jeffrey Thomson and wicket-keeper Wally Grout will be inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame (ACHoF) at the Allan Border Medal on January 27.
ACHoF chairman David Crow said about Jeffrey Thomson, “Only a handful of Australian cricketers had taken 200 Test wickets and Jeff did it at a strike rate of almost four wickets a Test, which is exceptional. But of course, he was most famous for his pace and outright aggression, and it is was these qualities that people came to see when he played. He was a major drawcard for Australian cricket.”
Crow also spoke out about Wally Grout, “Wally Grout was one of Australia’s finest wicketkeepers. Luminaries such as Bob Simpson and Wes Hall claimed he was the finest gloveman they had ever seen.
“Wally Grout was the first player in Test history to claim six dismissals in an innings and that remains an Australian record which has since been matched by Rod Marsh, Ian Healy and Adam Gilchrist.
“Wally also set the record for the most catches taken in a Sheffield Shield innings, eight, which is now held jointly with Darren Berry.
“But Wally’s contribution went beyond immaculate wicket-keeping. He was highly regarded for his honesty, integrity and sense of humour.
“As captain, Richie Benaud relied on Wally for the team’s strategy because of his great understanding of the game.”
Wally Grout had represented Australia in 51 Tests between 1957 and 1966 while Jeffrey had represented Australia in 51 Tests and 50 ODIs from 1972 to 1985.
Jeffrey was very glad after knowing this respectable achievement. He said, “It’s for my wife and kids, my parents, my brothers, my mates, all those people who took me to cricket when I was young and helped me along the way. I got a ring from a mate of my brother’s who I hadn’t spoken to for 30 years. He was rapt and said how weird it was for a bunch of kids who used to play cricket for hours against a telephone pole that one of us was now in the Hall of Fame.”
Jeffrey rated winning the Ashes in 1974-75 and beating the West Indies in 1975-76 was his best moment in his international career. He said, “I had to work really hard to get back (into the Test side), and I never doubted I was good enough. I always knew I was going to brain them, I just needed the opportunity.”
Later, Jeffrey Thomson was also famous in the commentary role.