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Nance Clements's banner: Not a novelty!

Nance Clements's banner: Not a novelty!

Women have played cricket in Australia since at least the 1870s, with organised competitions beginning at state level in the early twentieth century. The Australian Women's Cricket Council was formed in 1931, and a national competition was launched.

As with most amateur sports during the 1930s, women's cricket was not well-funded.

A colour photograph of two female cricketers. Both are wearing dark green team uniforms, with three gold stripes down the side of the trousers. They are both facing toward the right of the photo, in poses of celebration. The cricketer closest to the camera has her left arm thrust up and out and her right arm thrust back and down. She has been caught mid-stride by the camera; both of her feet are off the ground. The other cricketer is behind her and slightly to the left of the image. She has both arms up above shoulder height. She has also been caught mid-stride by the camera. Her right foot is on the ground while her left foot is raised up behind her. She wears a broad-brimmed white hat and sunglasses. Both cricketers are on a cricket field. The grass beneath them has been cut very short.

The council, however, was determined to move women's cricket into the Test arena and, with only 14 shillings in the coffers, invited England to tour Australia in 1934/35. The tour was a great success with matches drawing crowds of up to 5000 spectators in Sydney and Melbourne.

Today, Australia is one of 11 countries involved in international women's cricket competition.

The women's team played in the first World Cup One-Day series in 1973, two years before the men's series began, and has since won four World Cups.

By 2008, Australia was ranked first in the world in both Test and one-day cricket.

Right: Australian bowler Rene Farrell celebrates a wicket on debut in 2007 for the national women's team, the Southern Stars. Courtesy: Quinn Rooney, Getty Images.

A colour photograph of seven female cricketers. They have been caught in the middle of what appears to be the celebration of taking a wicket during a match. One cricketer stands to the right of the image. Three other cricketers crowd around her in congratulatory poses. Three other cricketers are approaching from the left of the image. Two of them appear to have their right hands raised in preparation for the 'high five' acknowledgement. All of the cricketers wear white trousers, white shirts and cricketing shoes. Five of them wear green caps, while one wears a white broad-brimmed hat. One standing in front of the cricketer being congratulated wears wicketkeeping gloves. The cricketer not wearing a hat has on a headband. In the background of the image is part of the fence of the cricket ground, some of the the spectators and trees behind them. The entire background is out of focus.

 

 

Right: Emma Sampson, on far right (with headband), was in the wickets on her Test debut for Australia against England at Bowral in February 2008. Courtesy: Mark Nolan, Getty Images.


screen grab of an audio visual of the Australian Women's World Cup 2005. The Australian team is bowling to the Indian team.

Watch the Australian Women's World Cup win, 2005 (MP4 698KB) duration 0: 17
Courtesy: Cricket South Africa/Sky Sports UK.

Transcript: Australian Women's World Cup win, 2005

NEWS READER: And in cricket Australia has thrashed India by a whopping 98 runs in the final of the Women's World Cup.

COMMENTATOR: And that's it, that's it. Nitschke bowls the ball that gives Australia victory. They win the World Cup, they win
the glory, they are happy, what a wonderful effort.