Enid Bakewell

Born on 16th December 1940 in Newstead Village, Nottinghamshire, Enid Bakewell is a former Test and ODI allrounder, one of the greatest the game has seen.

The young Enid Turton is obsessed with the game of cricket and plays every chance she can get. She was a handy left arm slow bowler but Enid just loved to bat. And bat. Her first taste of the big time was on a tour to the Netherlands in 1959 playing for the WCA XI. It was a pretty handy team of up and comers – Rachael Heyhoe, Shirley Driscoll, Mary Pilling among others.

 In the first match Enid took 2-13 from 9 overs but didn’t get a bat. In the second match she opened the batting and was out for 3 but collected 5-17 with her bowling.

Always on the fringe of selection for higher honours but never quite there. She missed the tour to South Africa 1960/1 and while she played against the touring Australians in 1963 for East Midlands, she didn’t take part in the Test series.

By 1965 she is now Enid Bakewell and on the verge of selection against the visiting New Zealand team in 1966. She was sure to make her debut for England, except, she was pregnant. In fact Enid played until five months into her pregnancy.

Back playing cricket in the summer of 1967 with a baby at home, and by 1968 she is in the running to be selected for the Australian tour of 1968/9. She makes the squad but it is bittersweet, for the needs to leave her toddler behind in England.

Having just turned 28 years of age, Enid makes her Test debut at Thebarton Oval in Adelaide and celebrates with scoring 113. A century on debut. In the second Test in Melbourne, few runs but wickets, 4-49. It would be a running theme – runs, wicket or both, Enid Bakewell was always in the game.

In New Zealand at the Basin Reserve in Wellington, another century, 124, followed by 5-40. At Hagley Oval in Christchurch, another century, 114 in the first innings and 66 not out in the second. Her left armers also gave her 8-124 for the match. Two half centuries in Auckland and six more wickets said this player had most definitely arrived on the international scene.

Well may she play Test cricket, but could she cope with the more frenetic pace of the new form of the game, one-day cricket? In her debut ODI at the World Cup un 1973, Enid scored 101 not out against the International XI in a record stand of 246 with Lynne Thomas (134), still the 4th highest of all time.

Enid was kept relatively quiet for the rest of that World Cup until England met Australia in the final match. It was not a final – the cup was decided by points – but effectively it was the World Cup final, winner takes all, in front of Her Highness, Princess Anne. Enid didn’t disappoint as she thrashed the Australian attack, one of the best ever assembled: Tredrea, Thompson, McPherson, Gordon, Knee, May, Blunsden – five Test captains! It was Enid’s day as she scored 118. She capped it off with two Australian wickets as she and England won the World Cup, the first of its kind in cricket.

Several years later in 1976, she scored a half century in the first ever women’s game at Lords and also played in the 1981/2 World Cup.

Her final Test match at Edgbaston in 1979, perhaps saving the best til last, Enid scored 68 runs in the first innings and 112 not out (out of 164 team total) in her final innings. She matched that with 3-14 and 7-61 to give her 10 wickets for the match to go with her century. At the age of 38 Enid is still unstoppable!

In twelve Tests, Enid scored 1078 runs at 59.88 with four centuries and seven fifties. She took 50 wickets at 16.62. In 23 ODIs 500 runs at 35.71 with two centuries and two fifties, along with 25 wickets at 21.12. The numbers are phenomenal. Enid Bakewell was a phenomenal cricketer, one of the very best of all time and would stand tall in any era.

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