Pearl Savin

Born on 20th June 1914 in Christchurch, Canterbury former Test player for New Zealand, Pearl Hannah Savin.

Pearl played only one Test match but a significant one, for it was the first Test by the “Silver Ferns”, later to become the White Ferns.

There were two wicket keepers who also batted in the top order chosen to play in this first Team for New Zealand, Pearl Savin and Hilda Buck. Pearl was ultimately given the nod and became the first wicket keeper for New Zealand. She also batted at number three.

Ruth Symons won the toss and chose to bat. Hilda Buck went for a duck. Pearl lasted 16 minutes for her 3 runs, part of a procession that saw New Zealand bowled out for 44. England then scored 431 runs by stumps and when play resumed after a rest day finished with 503/5 declared. Pearl took no catches and let through 10 byes.

I kept wickets marvelously, even though I say it myself. I wasn’t used to anything very fast in Auckland and my knees above the pads were a mass of bruises because I wasn’t standing far enough back.”

That was Pearl’s only Test, but a historic one and an important pioneer of New Zealand cricket. After a multitude of careers that included teaching in Fiji, physiotherapy and journalism, she passed away in November 2000.