Born in Lismore NSW, former Test and ODI captain of Australia, Lyn Larsen is the most successful captain in women’s Test matches. In ten Test matches leading Australia Lyn won five and lost none. No other captain has that many victories. (The closest is England’s Molly Hide with four wins from eleven)
“She remains one of our most successful captains and respected tacticians. Scoring runs against a team she was captaining was about 25% harder than against others.” – Belinda Clark
Growing up in country NSW cricket was just one sport the allrounder played. She once dreamed of playing at Wimbledon but when that dream faded, she wrote in a poem which ends with the line, “Oh well. I’ll just have to settle for playing cricket…… For Australia.”
And play she did. At age 14 she represented NSW Country against Trish McKelvey’s New Zealanders in 1977/78 at Graham Park in Gosford. She took one wicket and was not out 1 batting at number nine. The following summer she opened the batting for NSW Juniors against ACT and made a half century and another 32 in the second innings. A fortnight later she turned 16.
Her debut for NSW came in 1980. In the third match NSW played Victoria, face to face with the Australian opening pair, Raelee Thompson and Sharon Tredrea.
“My two images… seeing Sharon standing at first slip (she had a presence just being there) and getting hit on the pads by Raelee… hit me before I moved I think… Had never faced bowling that fast before. I was given not out and can still hear her saying to me after the game ‘you were out you little shit’. Clearly didn’t matter too much given I made a duck anyway.”
Selected to tour India in 1983/4, Lyn played in the first two Test matches and then three of the five Ashes Tests the following summer. By 1987 she is Australia’s Test and ODI captain and leads Australia to England, retaining the Ashes. In 1988 she leads Australia to victory in the World Cup.
“There was no a prouder moment than donning my blazer and heading out to the middle, coin in hand.”
Over 15 Test matches, Lyn scored 410 runs at 41.00 with a high score of 86, and 26 wickets at 18.73 with a best of 4-33. Couple that record with winning a World Cup and remaining undefeated over ten Test matches as captain.
Inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 and NSW Cricket Hall of Fame in 2010 and a recipient of AM (Member of the Order of Australia) in June 2020.Embed from Getty Images