Born on 20th August 1922, Takapau, Hawke’s Bay, former New Zealand Test captain, Rona McKenzie was the third skipper of the White Ferns.
A right-hand batter and right-arm medium pace bowler, Rona led the first New Zealand team to England in 1954. The first Test of that series was both her debut as a Test player and her debut as a captain. In fact, all seven Tests in her career were as captain.
In those days New Zealand was still finding her feet as a Test nation and Rona’s best efforts were to try and minimise the losses. In England she managed to draw two of the three Tests, losing just one. In Australia in 1956/7, the team suffered an innings defeat, but when England toured in 1957/8 both Tests were draws.
Muriel “Pixie” Picton brought a powerful team to New Zealand for a one off Test in 1960/1. Rona made her top score of 61 in this match and nearly brought off a miraculous victory, Pixie batting out time with only two wickets in hand.
“She was canny” – Pixie