Karen Rolton

Born in Adelaide South Australia, Karen Rolton is a former Test, ODI and T20I captain and one of the most explosive batters of all time.

“Karen Rolton was the best batter I played with. She was devastating when in good form. She scored so quickly and ensured the game kept moving.” – Belinda Clark

Where her predecessor, Belinda Clark, reshaped the nature of batting in women’s cricket, Karen Rolton turned the volume up even higher. With her eye for timing, her strength and finesse, Rolton boasted a Test batting average over 50 and was the first Australian player to pass 1000 Test runs. Rolton was the perfect batting machine, yet her early days with the South Australian team were spent bowling rather than batting.

Selected in Australia’s Under 23 team in 1993/4 to play against New Zealand’s Under 23s in Toowoomba Rolton picked up 3/31 and was not out 68 as Australia easily beat their Kiwi opponents. It was a similar tale for the rest of the series as the young South Australian was in the runs or amongst the wickets, playing with future Aussie stars Olivia Magno, Julia Price, Mel Jones and Lisa Keightley.

On 28th February 1995, Karen Rolton became a member of the Australian Test team to play New Zealand in a one off Test match at Hagley Oval in Christchurch, in Belinda Clark’s first Test match as captain. The young debutant from Adelaide did not let her captain down, scoring 42 and 23 and taking 2/42 and 2/26. In the ensuing years, her bat would do most of the talking, her left arm medium pacers taking a back seat in the Test arena.

In England in 2001 for a two Test series featured a punishing knock of 209 not out by Rolton in the second Test. It was a one woman demolition team, the likes of which had never been seen before and a world record at the time.

It was a fantastic feeling to get to 200, my highest score before that was 176. To then break the record is a day I will never forget, it was an amazing achievement and something I will always be proud off.

By 2005/6 Karen had assumed the Australian captaincy, across all three formats and guided her team to victory over India at the Adelaide Oval in her first Test as captain.

In 14 Test matches, Karen scored 1002 runs at 55.66 with two centuries and 5 fifties. With the ball, 14 wickets at 23.35. In 141 ODIs, 4814 runs at 48.14 with 8 centuries and 33 fifties. She took 85 wickets at 20.81 with a best of 4-19. In 15 T20Is, 405 runs at 50.62, with a strike rate of 125.77. Retiring in 2014, Karen was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2016, the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame in 2018 and in 2021 the Sports Australia Hall of Fame.

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