Born on 16th October 1915, in Brisbane, Queensland, former Australian Test cricketer, Kathleen Mary Smith was also vice-captain.
A member of Australia’s first Test team under Margaret Peden in 1934, Kath was a left arm fast medium bowler and batted in the middle order. Had it not been for Kath’s 25 runs, Australia’s first innings in Test cricket would not have reached the 47 run total it did. In fact Kath was the only player to reach double figures.
Kath also top scored in the first innings of the second Test with 47, out when the score was 66. She took 3 of the 5 England wickets to fall before Betty Archdale declared. It was becoming apparent that Kath was well ahead of her team mates at this level.
As captain of Queensland, there was some speculation that this talented cricketer would be Australia’s first Test captain, but the power of women’s cricket rested with the two more populous states in NSW and Victoria – there was no way a Queenslander would be captain. It is quite significant however that she was made vice-captain. Aside from any leadership aspirations, Kath just made runs and took wickets and was Australia’s leading allrounder in the first six cricket Tests.
Smith scored 335 runs at an average of 27.91 with a top score of 88. She took 13 wickets at 31.53 with a best of 4-50.
After World War II Kath played her final years of cricket for Victoria. She died back home in Queensland in 1993. The Kath Smith Medal is awarded to the best and fairest women cricketer in Brisbane Grade Cricket.