Who is Lady Don of women’s cricket, Australia’s greatest, Betty Wilson?

11 tests, 862 runs (3 100s, 3 50s), 68 wickets, and 10 catches

This isn’t the stats of a men’s cricket player. This is the Lady Don of women’s cricket, Australia’s greatest, Betty Wilson.

Born a century ago on November 21, 1921 in Melbourne, Wilson was, without a doubt, a phenomenal talent. Announcing her arrival with a score of 90 with the bat and the bowling figures of 4-37 and 6-28 back in 1948, she was a difficult-to-stop all-rounder. In just her second match, she became the first-ever women cricketer to score a century and take a five-wicket haul in an innings of a test match and in 1958, became the first cricketer (among both women and men) to record a century and ten wickets in the same test match.

 

Betty Wilson
Betty Wilson

 

This wasn’t all, in her last Ashes series when Australia was bowled out for just 38 in the first innings of the second test, she recorded the first-ever hat-trick in women’s international cricket, finishing the first innings with an unbelievable spell of 7-7 restricting England to just 35 and then scoring a ton in the second innings with 4-9 with the ball in the rain-affected match which ended up in a draw.

For her dominance in the sport with the three roles- batting, bowling, and fielding, she was the first women cricketer inductee in the Australian Sporting Hall of Fame. Later, in 2015 she was posthumously inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame and into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame two years later.

Three years back, a campaign #BettyinBronze commenced commemorating Wilson in the Bronze.

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As per the latest stats by cricket.com.au, There are currently 74 known statues and sculptures of cricketers across Australia but not a single one of those celebrates a female player.

However, on the occasion of International Women’s Day in March this year, Cricket Australia did announce at the Sydney Cricket Ground would house the first female sculpture in the country which will be unveiled in mid-2022 but the identity of the player wasn’t revealed.

In a report by cricket.com.au on the occasion of Wilson’s 100th birth anniversary, Cricket Australia has confirmed that it has submitted a formal request to the Melbourne Cricket Club asking for a statue of the Test cricket great to be considered at the venue.

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