Fair Play: Women's Cricket in the 1930s

Fair Play: Women's Cricket in the 1930s
Film Australia
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The Film Australia documentary Fair Play (1988) looks back over the the last 50 years of women's test cricket between Australia and England.

In this clip we meet some of the players from the 1934 and 1937 teams who recall their playing days.

This excerpt from the documentary also features clips from British Movietone films from 1934 and 1937. The camerawork in these clips expertly captures the women's elegant batting and running between wickets, but also highlights their skills in the field by using sweeping shots of the ground to follow the players and the ball.

Interestingly, the large crowds that can be seen in the background prove what a popular spectator sport the women's game was at the time.

And while the intent of the voice-over is well-meaning, the commentary comes across as somewhat condescending – pointing out that women's cricket has been viewed as a joke and expressing surprise that the women show a lot of talent. 

The interviews with the two older women in this clip prove how seriously they took their sport and also how events like 'Bodyline', that concerned the men's game, had a positive impact on public interest in the women's tests at the time.