On Thursday during the Drinks Break of the Day 1 Test between Australia and England played as a part of the Women’s Ashes, the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame Committee together with Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) announced Raelee Thompson as the 2022 inductees in the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. Thompson became the 58th inductee of the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame that was established in 1996.
Along with Thompson, former Australian cricketer Justin Langer was inducted to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame. Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia CEO, in an official release said: “Honouring inductees to the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame is an important and special moment for the sport. Justin and Raelee are extremely deserving inductees and it is wonderful to acknowledge and celebrate the immense achievements and contributions of these legends of our game.”
Hailing from Shepparton in Victoria’s north-east, Thompson, born on August 3, 1945, is one of the pioneers of women’s cricket. She played as a right arm fast bowler and represented Australia in 16 Tests and 23 One Day Internationals (ODIs) between 1972 and 1985, after making her international debut on February 5, 1972 against New Zealand in a Test. She has 81 international wickets, including 57 in Tests and 24 in ODIs. She is the oldest player – male or female – to take a maiden five-wicket haul in Test matches at 39 years and 175 days of age.
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Apart from her good bowling records, she captained Australia in four Tests between 1984 and 1985 and three ODIs in 1985. In her final Test match in 1985, the fifth and deciding Test match of the 1984-85 Women’s Ashes series played in Bendigo, she led the Australian team to a seven-wicket victory to reclaim the Women’ Ashes trophy after a yawning gap of 30 years. In that Test, Thompson picked up a five-wicket haul.
The former Australia captain also made 45 appearances for Victoria. After hanging up her boots from playing cricket, she served as a selector for many years. She has been associated with her home club, Essendon Maribyrnong Park Ladies Cricket Club, where she has continued to mentor the young and budding female cricketers.
With her incredible contributions to Australian women’s cricket, there is seldom any doubt that Raelee Thompson has been a great leader and a true champion of women’s cricket in the country.
Source: Cricket Australia
I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.