25 November 2020
Clearing Boundaries: The Rise of Women's Cricket
The extraordinary rise of Australian women's cricket is documented in a new history that has been welcomed as a timely tribute by two of the games' recent greats.
"Once upon a time it wasn't as likely for a girl to pick up a bat as a boy, we are now seeing great change," said former Test and successful World Cup captain Belinda Clark.
Launching the book, former Australian vice-captain, champion all-rounder and current TV cricket commentator Lisa Sthalekar said it was timely to honour the contribution of generations of champion female athletes since the 1870s.
The skills of today's Australian women are exciting huge TV audiences: "Up to 300,000 fans watch WBBL games and the T20 World Cup final earlier this year drew a TV audience of 1.2 million and a crowd of 86,000 to the MCG - so it's timely to have this new book celebrating the rise of women's cricket".
Sthalekar launched the new book, which is studded with rare historic photographs previously thought to be lost but recently found, rescued and returned to Australia.
Clearing Boundaries, The Rise of Australian Women’s Cricket, produced by Churchill Press in partnership with the Bradman Museum, is the first ever coffee-table style book devoted to the women’s game and the most comprehensive history produced about it for almost 30 years.
Written by Fiona Bollen with Matt Bonser, it fills in the gaps for many who are following the women’s game today.
From the early trailblazers of the 19th Century to 21st Century household names like Meg Lanning, Alyssa Healy, Beth Mooney and Ellyse Perry, Clearing Boundaries tracks the rise of women’s cricket in Australia to its current status, where the Australian team is dominating on the world stage.
Clearing Boundaries began as a project to preserve images of women in the game that were part of a collection of previously lost historical press photos acquired by the Bradman Museum with the help of former Cricket Australia Chairman Wally Edwards.
However, the project was quickly expanded following a passionate plea from Bradman Museum Executive Director Rina Hore to cover five key eras of the women’s game, from the first recorded match at Sandhurst (now Bendigo) in 1874, the first-ever Test series, to the exhilarating, record-breaking ICC T20 Women’s World Cup in February-March 2020.
Clearing Boundaries presents inspirational images and memorable moments from more than a century of the game.
Told mostly through the lens of the national team, it’s a celebration of those who have reached the pinnacle of their sport in eras of both prosperity and obscurity.
Highlights include the first Ashes series, when our first female national side led by Margaret Peden welcomed Betty Archdale’s England touring side in Australia in 1934/35 - firstly in Perth and then the eastern states.
Storylines have been dedicated to the legendary Betty Wilson who, in the 1957/58 Ashes became was the first cricketer – female or male – to score a century and take 10 wickets in the one Test match.
It tells how the women’s game has led from the front and helped bring about some revolutionary changes; from the first Indigenous cricketer to play for Australia, the first Test match to be televised in Australia, the first World Cup in 1973, and to the first women’s game at Lord’s.
The merger between Women’s Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricket Board (now Cricket Australia) is detailed, along with the rise of T20, the introduction of the now hugely popular Women’s Big Bash League, greater media exposure, the ground-breaking new structure for the Ashes across all three forms of the game, and the biggest pay rise in the history of women’s sport in Australia.
Dream batting debuts, dynamic bowling efforts, tumbling records, spectacular catches...all are covered in the eye-catching imagery of Clearing Boundaries.
The book also includes statistical records of every woman to represent Australia on the cricket field.
To purchase the book, visit http://bradman.com.au