Denise Emerson

Born on 13th May 1960 in Subiaco, Western Australia former Test and ODI player for Australia, Denise Emerson (nee Alderman).

There were cricket genes aplenty in the Alderman family. Bill Alderman played Colts for Western Australia in a match against the visiting MCC in 1946/47 at the Fremantle Oval. He opened the bowling and batted in the middle order. His cricket talent shared equally between his children: Terry Alderman would become an outstanding Test and ODI bowler for Australia but got none of the batting genes; Denise inherited all of them.

A debut for Western Australia in First Class cricket came in 1978/79. Runs flowed from Denise’s blade. She would end up playing 23 matches for both WA and NSW and finish with an average of 51.80. Little wonder she was called upon to represent her country.

Denise Alderman made her ODI debut at the 1981/82 World Cup and immediately put that bat to work, scoring 77 in her first match, opening the batting against India at Eden Park, Auckland. She would go on to play 21 ODIs in total, scoring 820 runs at 41.00, with 8 fifties and a top score of 84.

In 1985/85 Denise, now Emerson, made her Test match debut, against England at her home ground, the WACA in Perth. (She had married Ross Emerson who made his name as an international umpire.) Denise top scored for Australia with 84 runs in the first innings and it was a theme that carried through the entire series. In the five Tests, she topped the aggregate and average for both teams, scoring 453 runs at 50.33. Her 121 at Adelaide Oval was her career high score.

In all, Denise played seven Test matches for Australia, but the two she played in England detracted from her form in Australia, scoring just a single run. She scored 454 runs in total at 41.27, still very good numbers for an opening batter in any era.