Ina Lamason

Born on 2nd May 1912 in Palmerston North, Manawatu, is former Test captain for New Zealand, Ina Mabel Lamason (nee Pickering).

A right-arm off-break bowler, Ina’s first taste of international cricket was for her Wellington team when she played against the touring English team in 1945/35. She was selected as vice-captain for the very first White Ferns Test match but had to withdraw due to a leg injury aggravated during the tour game.

In February 1936 Ina led the Wellington team to victory in the first match in the Hallyburton Johnstone Challenge Shield, defeating Auckland by ten wickets. Wellington retained the trophy the following season.

In 1938 Ina led a New Zealand team to Australia on the Wanganella to play against New South Wales. Her vice-captain was Ruth Martyn (nee Symons) the first Test captain of New Zealand. The team defeated NSW Juniors, NSW Country and NSW North Metro. They lost against NSW South Metro and the full NSW state team captained by Mollie Dive.

While cricket was played during war years of 1939-1945, there was no international cricket. The first Test match played after the war involved New Zealand against Mollie Dive’s Australian team. Ina was selected as captain and would finally make her debut. She was the second Test cricket captain of New Zealand and Test cap 18.

New Zealand suffered a heavy defeat by an innings courtesy of Betty Wilson with both bat and ball. It was a similar tale when England toured in 1948/49, the White fern’s going down by 185 runs against Molly Hide’s tourists.

Ina was a player on the 1954 tour of England, but as a player only, with Rona McKenzie the new skipper and playing only two matches on tour. It was a changing of the guard, with Ina now 42 years of age. Had she not injured her leg in 1934/35 her Test career would have spanned two decades.

Notably Ina was a duel international, playing hockey for New Zealand and in both sports was heavily involved post retirement in admin, umpiring (hockey) and journalism. Ina’s sister-in-law, Joy Lamason, also played Test cricket for New Zealand. In 1989 Ina was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, for services to cricket and hockey in the Queen’s Birthday Honours of that year. She died on 30 April 1994 in Auckland.