Born on October 24th 1911 in Willesden, Middlesex is former team manager, author and one time player for England, Netta Rheinberg.
Netta played one Test for England, at Adelaide in January 1949. In the first innings she was stumped Lorna Larter, bowled Betty Wilson for a duck. In the second innings, bowled Wilson for a duck. Didn’t take a catch, didn’t bowl. She was the first Test debutant to ever score a pair. So how is someone who scored a pair in their only Test match considered a legend?
Rheinberg’s first class career numbers aren’t that good either, yet this character was as important to women’s cricket in the 20th century as other leading lights such as Rachael Heyhoe Flint, Marjorie Pollard, Margaret Peden. Rheinberg’s biggest contribution was off the field. On that 1948/8 tour of Australia, she was the team manager. Her Test appearance was due to injuries to other players.
Captain of Middlesex in the mid 1940s before that tour to Australia, upon retirement Netta became an umpire and one of the first women to pass the exam of the Association of Cricket Umpires. She was the Secretary of the WCA from 1948-1958 and one time President of Middlesex WCA.
It is with her pen that Netta really left a mark. As a writer, journalist, Netta led the way. She was the editor of the magazine, Women’s Cricke,t and also wrote about women’s cricket for Wisden for three decades. She co-authored a book about women’s cricket history with Rachael Heyhoe Flint.
“Netta was an action girl. We had very few people then, and she galvanised activity, partly just by having a great personality and a sense of humour.” – Rachael Heyhoe Flint
In 1999 Netta Rheinberg was one of the first 10 women inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame. She passed away in June 2006, aged 94.Embed from Getty Images Embed from Getty Images