Australian cricket this evening paid tribute to Betty Wilson, sometimes described as Australia's female Bradman and widely acknowledged as the nation's greatest female cricketer, who has died aged 88.
In an era in which there were few international cricket opportunities, Wilson played 11 Tests between 1947-48 and 1957-58, scoring 862 runs at 57.46 and taking 68 wickets at 11.8 bowling right arm off breaks.
She became the first Test player to make 100 runs and take 10 wickets in a Test match in a 1957-58 Test against England, taking 7/7 including a hat trick in the first innings.
Cricket Australia Chairman Jack Clarke said Wilson was highly regarded as a pioneering player of rare skill and with a work ethic unheard of in the early days of cricket.
Former Australian captain and current Centre of Excellence manager Belinda Clark described Wilson as a legend of the game who was respected for her on field achievement and admired for staying in contact with the game and being well connected with its current players. She was most recently seen publicly at the 3 Mobile Boxing Day Test in Melbourne.
Born in Abbotsford in Melbourne, she started her cricket playing career with Collingwood.
She combined natural athleticism and great footwork with a relentless appetite for practice and training, practicing seven days a week in an era when female cricketers trained weekly.
Her cricketing honours included being the first female cricketer inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame, being the first female cricket member of the Melbourne Cricket Club and having the national under-21 female cricket championship trophy named in her honour.
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