Born on November 7th 1962, in Christchurch, Canterbury, is former New Zealand Test and ODI captain, Deborah Ann Hockley.
Hockley debuted for Canterbury in 1977/8 at fifteen years, batting at number five against Otago, making 15 and 26. By the time that season of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield was complete, it was evident that Canterbury had unearthed a batting prodigy.
In January 1979 at sixteen years of age, Hockley played in her debut Test, against Australia in Melbourne. The Australian attack was one of the best ever assembled, headlined by Sharon Tredrea and Raelee Thompson. Captain Trish McKelvey sheltered the young player, batting her at eight, but the debutant stood tall and weathered the storm.
Hockley would not play international cricket again until 1982, when she made her ODI debut in no less than a World Cup, at home in New Zealand. The nineteen year old introduced herself to the World Cup by top scoring with 44 against England in the opening match. She made 222 runs in the campaign with a top score of 79.
By the time Hockley dons the white uniform again, she has been appointed Test captain, New Zealand’s fifth, and batting up the order against England in 1984. In the third Test, the young skipper breaks through with her debut century, 107 not out, and backed up in the second innings with 62. Debbie Hockley had arrived in Test cricket.
The mid 1980s was a diet of ODI cricket and Hockley plundered runs again India, England and Australia. By the time Test cricket is back on the agenda in 1989/90, she no longer captain and greets the Australians in Auckland with 126 not out in a team total of 229. She underlines that with 77 at Christchurch in 294 minutes while her team mates collapsed around her. Hockley was the rock around which New Zealand’s batting relied.
In 1991/2, this was emphasised even further against the touring England team. In the third Test at Pukekura Park, Hockley was one of eight victims to wicket keeper Lisa Nye, making 65 in 311 minutes in a team total of just 142. While the batting around Hockley was frail it made her dig in even more.
In 1994/5 at Trafalgar Park, Nelson, India struck the same problem. Hockley batted for 399 minutes, facing 382 deliveries for 107.1996 was the Test match swansong and her final innings was 41 not out. They still could not get her out! In her nineteen Test matches, Hockley amassed 1301 runs at the superb average of 52.04, with four centuries and seven half centuries.
Only Jan Brittin, Charlotte Edwards and Rachael Heyhoe Flint have score more runs in Test cricket – all at a lesser average and all having played more matches.In 118 ODIs, 4066 runs at 41.91 with four centuries and 54 half centuries, the first woman to pass 4000 runs in this format. Debbie Hockley was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2013.Embed from Getty Images