Women have probably played backyard cricket in Australia from the earliest days of the colony. The first recorded women’s cricket match was an informal event in 1874 in the Victorian gold town of Bendigo. The first official organised women’s cricket match was between the Fernleas and the Siroccos (captained by sisters Lily and Nellie Gregory) on the 8 March 1886 at the Association Ground (now the Sydney Cricket Ground)….Australian women have always been enthusiastic spectators at cricket matches and soon proved themselves to be just as keen players of the sport. From the last decade of the 19th century, teams and clubs for women and girls were formed and the first intercolonial (now interstate) matches were played….Cricket’s popularity and its acceptance as an appropriate sport for ladies waxed and waned over the next few decades. The Australian Women’s Cricket Council (AWCC) was formed in 1931 to promote and support the sport. In the 1930s the first international matches were played between England and Australia….The rest of the 20th century saw women’s cricket played at all levels in Australia and overseas at increasing levels of professionalism. One of the longest-serving players and administrators for women’s cricket in New South Wales during this period was Lorna Thomas….Cricket continues to be played by girls and women from grassroots to international level. Although it does not enjoy the same high profile accorded to the men’s game, the public and media interest shown in the sport has increased in the past few decades. Australia is one of eleven countries competing in international women’s cricket. The national team, the Southern Stars, is currently ranked number one in the world…..
Text and images courtesy of the State Library of New South Wales