Who was the first British woman to captain a test match team in cricket?

BETTY ARCHDALE 1907 – 2000

The English Ladies cricket team played their first test match in the 1934/35 season.

They toured Australia and New Zealand and won the series.

In addition to playing the national sides, the England team also played against each of the Australian states teams.

The captain was Betty Archdale and her and the team’s success helped to raise the status of women’s cricket.

Betty was the daughter of a suffragette and her godmother was Emmeline Pankhurst. She went to university in Canada and was called to the English Bar in 1938. In November 1938, Betty was invited to captain the second touring side bound for Australia in October 1939 but world events put those plans on hold.

During WW2 she was in the WRNS serving as a wireless operator in Singapore and being awarded the OBE for assisting nurses to escape from the hostilities.

In later life she settled in Australia and was well known through radio and television appearances and for her highly respected work in education.

Photo credit: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons


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