Born on 2nd March 1956 in Moora Western Australia, former Test and ODI cricketer for Australia, Peta Verco (nee Cook) made her debut for Western Australia in 1974/5 as an opening bowler with her right arm medium pacers, and batting in the lower middle order.
In 1976/7 Peta is been selected to play for Australia and her Test debut (Test cap 87) was in her home town of Perth against the visiting Indian team. Peta opened the bowling with Raelee Thompson, took two wickets and made 26 not out batting at number nine.
It is significant that Peta’s introduction to international cricket would be against India, for that country features importantly in her career. Her ODI debut (ODI cap 23) was at the Keenan Stadium, Jamshedpur, India in 1977/8 in the World Cup and part of the victorious Australian team. By the time Peta plays in her second World Cup, she is no longer opening the bowling, rather, she has become a very dependable opening batter to the team.
India features again when Peta tours in Jill Kennare’s history making Test tour of the country in 1983/4. It is the first (and to now, the only) Test tour of India by an Australian team. By now the transition is complete. Opening the batting and bowling off spin. And she is now Peta Verco.
Joining Lindsay Reeler at the top of the order, the pair made a formidable combination and it was at Ahmedabad in the third Test, following a century opening stand that Peta made her highest score in Tests of 105. Across the four Test series Peta scored 367 runs at 61.16.
Peta formed another solid opening partnership with Denise Emerson when England toured for the Ashes Jubilee tour of 1984/5. In the fifth Test of that series, Peta’s last, she scored 40 in both innings and took three wickets as Australia won the Ashes for the first time in 36 years.