Cast in bronze: 10 legends who deserve a statue
Following the news the first statue of a female cricketer will be installed at the SCG, here are just some of the greats of the game who should be cast in bronze
8 March 2021, 09:29 AM AEST
The announcement that the Sydney Cricket Ground will house Australia’s first sculpture of a female cricketer has quickly prompted fierce debate around which great of the game should be immortalised in bronze.
Who exactly will be celebrated with the statue has yet to be determined, but it is hoped the ground-breaking move will prompt other grounds and associations to follow suit with sculptures of their own.
Given Australia’s rich history, there is no shortage of candidates, while current star players Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry are sure to see their own likenesses unveiled in due course.
Here are just a few of those greats of the game who deserve to be immortalised with a statue.
The #BettyInBronze campaign has been running for several years and following Monday’s announcement, key advocates Angela Pippos and Mel Jones may just get their wish.
Wilson, who passed away aged 88 in 2010, was the original trailblazer, a player who forged a reputation as one of the game's best-ever allrounders during her decade of dominance at the highest level from 1948 to 1958.
It was a decade that culminated with one of the greatest individual performances of all-time when she became the first cricketer, male or female, to score a century and take 10 wickets in a Test, achieving the feat against England at Melbourne’s Junction Oval.
Few people have had as much impact on cricket, on and off the field, as former Australia captain Clark.
A right-handed opener with the uncanny knack of accumulating runs, Clark was named captain of the Australian Women’s team at the age of 23 and led her country through a golden period until her retirement in 2005, winning two World Cups in the process.
Clark holds the record for the most Test runs scored by an Australian woman – 919 runs in 15 Test matches at an average of 45.95 – while she scored 4,844 runs in 118 ODIs at an average of 47.49, also the most by any Australian woman.
In 1997, she became the first person to score an ODI double century when she blasted 229 runs off 155 balls against Denmark and was subsequently named Wisden’s Cricketer of the Year.
As chief executive of Women’s Cricket Australia, Clark played a significant role in the merger with the Australian Cricket Board to combine the administration of the men’s and women’s games.
After her retirement from playing, Clark played a key role over the following 15 years as an administrator at Cricket Australia, with a particular focus on grassroots cricket and Australia’s national teams, before she left the organisation late last year.
One of the most extraordinary cricketers ever seen in the women's game, Rolton played 141 matches for Australia across a career spanning 15 years, captaining the national team from 2006 until her retirement from international cricket in 2009.
From her 141 ODIs, she averaged 48.14 with a highest score of 154 not out. In 14 Test matches, she averaged 55.66 and struck two centuries, including 209 against England.
Her first T20I doubled as the Australian women's team's maiden game in the format; Rolton clubbed a blistering 96 from 53 balls in that match.
A two-time World Cup winner (in 1997 and 2005), she remains the only woman to score a century in a World Cup final having posted 107 in the 2005 decider against India in Centurion.
The Gregory sisters
Nellie and Louisa Gregory captained the two sides in the first organised women’s cricket match, held at the SCG – then known as the Association Ground – on March 8, 1886.
Nellie captained the ‘Siroccos’ and Louisa skippered the opposing Fernleas, while younger sister Alice also played in the match. The sisters have strong ties to the venue; their father Ned, who played in the inaugural Australian men’s Test team, was the first curator of the Association Ground.
The sisters helped drive development of the fledgling women’s game, organising matches and teaching the sport to girls in schools.
When Thomas (née Coulthard) walked out on to Melbourne's Junction Oval on February 24, 1958, she carved out a unique place in Australian history.
Taking the field for her first – and only – Test match against England, Thomas wasn't just the first Indigenous woman to represent Australia on a cricket field, she was the first picked in any national sporting team.
Her international career lasted just one week, but her impact was not about longevity or numbers.
Australia’s greatest ODI wicket-taker, Victorian Fitzpatrick struck fear into the hearts of batters with her searing pace.
A two-time World Cup winner as a player, Fitzpatrick played 13 Tests and took 60 wickets at an average of 19.11, and played in 109 one-day internationals, taking 180 wickets at 16.79.
She also spent a record 2113 days as the No.1-ranked ODI bowler in the world, from 2000 to 2007.
After retiring from playing, Fitzpatrick went on to coach Australia's women's team and won a World Cup and two ICC Women's World Twenty20 titles.
During an international career spanning from 1984 to 1994, Larsen was named Australian captain in 1986 at 22 years of age, the youngest person at the time to achieve the honour.
Larsen played 15 Tests, scoring 410 runs at 41 and taking 26 wickets at 18.73, while in her 49 ODIs, she scored 426 runs and took 24 wickets.
Most notably, Larsen captained Australia to victory in the 1988 World Cup final at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, defeating England by eight wickets.
Not only was Peden Australia’s first captain, she also founded the Australian Women’s Cricket Council in 1930.
A gifted batter and teacher, who had also helped found the NSW Women’s Cricket Association in 1928, Peden was instrumental in bringing the England’s women’s team to Australia for the first time in 1934.
Renowned for her fitness and professionalism, Goss played 12 Tests and 65 ODIs for Australia across 13 years, but it was that moment with Brian Lara in 1994 that most people associate with the allrounder.
The Western Australian became a household name overnight after she famously dismissed the West Indies legend during a charity match at the SCG. Broadcast live on television, her feat threw a much-needed spotlight on the women’s game.
Today, the Zoe Goss Medal is awarded annually to WA’s leading female player.
One of the world's fastest bowlers and a bonafide allrounder, Tredrea played 10 Tests and 31 ODIs for Australia, and was part of three successful World Cup campaigns.
She captained her country in their World Cup defence in New Zealand in 1982, where they defeated England in the final.
At a time where opportunities and support were limited, Tredrea earned a reputation as a fierce competitor who always strived for the ultimate performance.