Shirley Cowles

Shirley Cowles played seven matches for New Zealand between 1968/9 and 1976/7 and played in the first World Cup in 1973.

Born on April 26th 1939 in Christchurch, Canterbury, Shirley Dawn Cowles (nee McCaw) was a right-hand batter, medium pace bowler and occasional wicket-keeper. Shirley made her First Class debut for Canterbury in 1953/54 at the age of fourteen under the captaincy of Phyllis Blackler. It would take a further fifteen years before Shirley would reach the next level, as marriage and motherhood took priority.

Against the touring England team of 1968/69 led by Rachael Heyhoe Flint, Shirley made her Test debut in the second Test of the series at Hagley Oval in her home town. She scored 14 runs in the first innings while making her highest Test score in the second innings of 46. Over seven Tests from 1968/69 to 1976/77 Shirley scored 324 runs at 23.14.

Shirley made her ODI debut for New Zealand in the inaugural World Cup in 1973, against Trinidad and Tobago. Her entire ODI career was played in the five matches of that World Cup and her highest score of 46 came against Young England in her final match.

Shirley was involved in coaching, selection and administration post retirement and was the President of the Canterbury Women’s Cricket Association for a period. In 2003 she was made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for her services to cricket. In the same year Shirley was made a Lifetime Member of the Canterbury Cricket Association. After suffering a stroke Shirley died on 5th March 2020 in Christchurch.