Born on 4th March 1959 in Mount Lawley, Perth WA, former Test and ODI player for Australia, Denise Martin was a left arm pace bowler.
She made her First Class debut for Western Australia in 1980/81 and her one-day domestic debut the following season. Denise wasn’t taking bags of wickets but she was an absolute miser when it came to giving away runs. As an example, against Victoria that season she bowled 10 overs and took 1-5. An economy rate of 0.5!
Those kind of stats caught the attention of the Australian selectors and Denise made her ODI debut for Australia in that same season of 1981/82, straight into the World Cup in New Zealand. In her debut, bowling first change after Sharon Tredrea and Raleee Thompson, Denise delivered with 2-15 from 8 overs.
It was a theme that would run through Denise’s ODI career. Wickets with very few runs scored against her. In 17 ODIs she took 27 wickets at 13.92 average and an economy of just over 2 runs per over.
Denise made her Test debut at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi, when Australia toured in 1984/84 in a team led by Jill Kennare. In a series dominated by spin bowlers and high scoring batters, as one might expect in India, Denise took 7 wickets at 20.42, with a best of 3-42 at Ahmedabad.
Back home for the Jubilee Ashes series, Martin was one of a four pronged pace attack the Aussies unleashed on England at the WACA ground in Perth. Along with Denise the team boasted Sharon Tredrea, Raelee Thompson and Debbie Wilson. Missing the next two Tests, Martin returned for the 4th Test at Gosford where she picked up her best Test figures of 4-24 in the first innings and another 2-12 in the second, helping Australia to their first Test match victory over England in 36 years.
For the final Test at Bendigo with the series all square, Denise removed Megan Lear and Carole Hodges before skipper Thompson sent shockwaves through the England innings. Australia won the match and the Ashes for the first time in decades. It was Denise’s final Test match.
Over 7 Test matches, Denise took 17 wickets at 17.94 along with that recurring theme of strangling the scoring with an economy of just 1.37.