The popularity of Women’s cricket is almost nonexistent compared to the men’s format. Still, the rich history of women’s cricket has recorded many significant moments since 1745. Let’s sum up some of the best moments of the women’s cricket ahead of the Twenty-20 world cup in November 2018.
1. Women’s First Test
Although the Women’s game has just started to gain popularity in recent years the history of Women’s test match goes back to 84 years with the first test match being played on December 1934 between England and Australia in Brisbane. To put into perspective, it was just two years after India’s test debut and the infamous Bodyline series between the same countries. New Zealand joined the party next year and for the first 25 years, only these three teams were there. South Africa was the next team to start playing in 1960. India played their first test in 1976.
2. Women’s First World Cup
Women’s cricket may lack popularity compared to men’s one but women’s cricket history can easily give men’s version a tough competition. Women’s world cup was first played in 1973, a couple of years before the men’s event in 1975. With Seven teams from England, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, an International XI and a Young England side participating in the event, England came out as the debutant winner. England won five of its games, losing only to New Zealand in a rain-affected match. The tournament was played in a round robin format where each team playing against others once with the highest point holder declared as the winner.
3. First 100 and 10 – Wicket Haul
Betty Wilson from Australia was the first ever cricketer, male or female to score a hundred and take ten wickets in the same test match in her final series in 1958 against England. She took 7 for 7 in the first inning that was incidentally the first hat-trick in women’s test cricket. Her batting performance wasn’t up to the mark in the first inning and she scored only 12 runs. But in second inning she scored exactly a hundred run and also took four wickets (4/9 in 19 overs) setting the record of best bowling figure of 11/19. Her records were broken by Shaiza Khan from Pakistan in 2004.
4. First 200 in ODI
Search Google with ‘First 200 in ODI’, most of the results will show Sachin Tendulkar’s name. But the fact is the first One Day International double century was hit thirteen years before Sachin Tendulkar did it in 2010 as the first male cricketer. Belinda Clarke scored first ever double hundred in the history of one day cricket during 1997 world cup in Mumbai. The then captain of Australian Women’s Cricket Team smashed an unbeaten 229 runs off 155 balls against Denmark. Recently Amelia Kerr from New Zealand broke the record of Belinda after twenty-one years and became the highest ODI scorer in women’s cricket.
5. Elizabeth and Rose Signal – The First Twins
New Zealand Women’s tour of England in 1984 the test cricket saw the appearance of the first twins of cricket. Elizabeth and Rose Signal, born 4 May 1962, became the first twins to feature in a Test match together, seven years before the Waugh brothers (Mark and Steve) played test cricket together in 1991. Both of the sisters were an all-rounder. Rose couldn’t perform well in the first test match at Headingley and never played another test. Elizabeth didn’t get a chance to bat in the first innings and scored just one in the second and didn’t pick up any wickets. She continued to playtest and ODIs where Rose later made a decent come back in one day format.
6. Mithali Raj – The Girl with Records
Often regarded as one of the greatest batswomen to have ever played the game, she is the highest run-scorer in women’s international cricket and the only female cricketer to surpass the 6,000 run mark in women’s ODIs. She is the first player to score 7 consecutive 50s in ODIs. Raj also holds the record for most half-centuries in WODIs. In June 2018 during the 2018 Women’s Asia Cup, Mithali Raj became the first player from India ( male or female) to score 2000 runs in T20Is and also set the milestone for becoming the first woman cricketer to reach 2000 T20I runs. Mithali is still the youngest to score a hundred in women’s ODIs. She Played 109 consecutive matches between 2004 and 2013 which is the longest streak for any player in women’s ODIs. She scored seven fifties on the trot this year — the most any player has ever scored in consecutive innings in this format.
7. Highest Individual Test Score
In 2004 Pakistan played a home series consisting of one test match against West Indies. Kiran Baluch scored 242 runs in the first innings of the match which is the highest test match individual score in women’s cricket till date. Her knock of 242 is also the highest ever test innings by an opening batswoman in test innings. She also achieved her career-best Test bowling performance in the same test match when she took 2 wickets for 41 runs in the third innings.
8. Amelia Kerr
Amelia Kerr from New Zealand is arguably one of the best all-rounders that the cricket world has ever produced with many ‘firsts’ in her name. On 13th June of this year, she scored 232 runs against Ireland and became the highest scorer in women’s limited over cricket surpassing Belinda Clark’s 229 against Denmark in Mumbai during 1997 Women’s World Cup. This is only the 9th Double century in limited over cricket, combined men and women’s game and 3rd highest behind Rohit Sharma’s 264 and Martin Guptill’s 237. During this innings Amelia also became the youngest player to score a double century in any format of both men and women, beating the long-standing record of Javed Miandad, who scored a double century at 19 years 140 days. On the same day, she took 5 wickets for just 17 runs and showed why she should be regarded as a player with the utmost potential.
9. Women’s Last Test Match
Women’s cricket has probably started to attract the audience recently in limited over matches but for test cricket, the situation isn’t even close to the same. ICC has certainly decided to end the women’s cricket marking it as ‘commercially unviable’. The ICC committee consisting of Shubhangi Kulkarni, Belinda Clark and Betty Timmer gave a final nod to a proposal made in June earlier this year regarding scrapping the women’s test cricket. So sadly we have probably seen the last women’s test cricket in November 2017 between England and Australia.
10. Ireland Women’s Cricket Team- Undefeated in Test
Ireland women’s cricket team made their one day debut in 1987 and was considered to be a top team during 90’s and early 2000’s. It played its first and only test match till date in 2000 and defeated Pakistan. In the current scenario, it can easily be said that Ireland will not play anymore test match which means Ireland women’s cricket team has the hundred percent success rates in test cricket. Interestingly Ireland men’s cricket team played their first test match in this year against Pakistan and lost the match.