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Vale Mary Loy (nee Allitt) OAM
Cricket Australia (CA) today paid tribute to former Australian women's cricket captain Mary Loy (nee Allitt OAM), who passed away earlier this week at the age of 88.
Loy made her debut against England in Scarborough in 1951 and went on to represent her country in 11 Tests, including three as captain in 1963. She was a top-order right-hand bat and made her highest score of 76 against England in 1963. At domestic level she represented New South Wales.
Loy was retrospectively presented with her Baggy Green and Test cap number 35.
She led the national women's team as captain on their tour of England in 1963 during a period of significant societal change. That side was regarded as pioneers of women's cricket and paved the way for today's elite players. Under her leadership the team became the first female side to tour England in 12 years. The tour proved groundbreaking for more reasons than one and they can take credit for many of the developments witnessed in the women's game in the last few decades. They were the first women's team (either Australian or English) to be invited by the committee of the MCC to dine with committee members in the famous Long Room at Lord's. Their tour attracted plenty of media attention and they were tagged 'Glamour Girls' by the UK's press.
After retiring from cricket she played a pivotal role in the development and support for children in her local community in the Riverina, NSW. In 2007 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her commitment to the game of cricket. She also received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and the Centenary Medal in 2001.
CA Chief Executive Office James Sutherland said: "Mary was a great contributor to women's cricket both in Australia and internationally. She holds a significant place in the history of women's cricket and was well respected on and off the field.
"Mary and her teammates were trailblazers of the game and she led her teammates through a period of significant societal change, helping to pave the way for today's elite players.
"She was a role model for young girls and women aspiring to play cricket from grassroots to the elite level. Following her retirement from cricket she continued to contribute to the game and was a fine ambassador for women's cricket."
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS