A team of women cricketers from the 1930s walking onto a cricket field in white uniforms.

Australian Women's Cricket

80 Years of Women's Cricket in Australia

Celebrating the women of cricket
 Mel Bondfield

From suburban backyards to the hallowed turf of the SCG, the game of cricket has been played, watched, attended and celebrated by millions of Aussie men, women, girls and boys for more than 200 years.

Now, with the cricket season in full swing, we've updated our Australian Cricket collection to celebrate the history of the women's game. We have added footage from the 1930s, 1980s and some more recent T20 and One Day games of the 2010s.

1930s Women Put to the Test

Alongside the legendary blokes in this collection, you'll meet these pioneering women from the 1930s, recalling their playing days in the following clip from the documentary Fair Play (Film Australia, 1988):

Women cricketers of the 1930s. Fair Play (1988). Courtesy Film Australia. NFSA title:1471065

Note the British Movietone excerpts from the 1930s that expertly capture the women's elegant batting and their skills in the field by using sweeping shots of the ground to follow the players and the ball.

While large crowds seen in the background prove what a popular spectator sport the women's game was at the time, the commentary comes across as somewhat condescending – expressing surprise that the women actually have a lot of talent.

Recognition, At Last!

Leaping forward more than 80 years, the women's game has come a long way.

While the big games are still pulling large crowds and displaying fine talent, just as they did in the 1930s, they are finally getting the recognition they deserve, as you'll see in this brief news report from 2014:

Women's Ashes Cricket Tournament. Prime 7 News Tamworth, 24 January 2014. Source: Prime Media. NFSA title: 1216808

Although this is only a short clip, it's indicative of how women's cricket has now become mainstream. With a grassroots program that includes young girls, it is more widely played and popular than ever. We see prime-time news bulletins and individual player profiles as regular features of news and current affairs now, rather than a novelty.

It's refreshing to see a TV news report on women's cricket that does not compare it to the men's game, and also great to see that women players are now becoming household names. 

You can discover more footage from over a century of cricket in Australia in our Cricket Curated Collection.