Hazel Pritchard scored 87 in the first women's Test match ever played in England
Seventy-five years ago today, the first women's Test match ever played in England, commenced on the County Ground in Northampton.
Australia batted first and after losing its first wicket without a run on the board, Hazel Pritchard scored 87, and Australia totalled 300, and went on to win the Test by 31 runs.
This was Australia's first Test victory over England, having lost the inaugural Test series, in Australia in 1934-35.
However, this Test in England, and Hazel's innings, had more dramatic effects thousands of miles away in the Queensland mining town of Mt. Isa.
Hazel, had met Les Scanlan at a cricket coaching clinic in Sydney some years before. Even though one of her shots injured Scanlan, batting in an adjacent net, romance blossomed, and they became engaged in December 1936, shortly after her selection in the first Australian women's cricket team to tour England.
Scanlan's family leased a hotel in Mt. Isa and Les lived and worked in the hotel.
On the night of 12th June, 1937, he set his alarm to wake him at 1.30am the next morning so he could get up and listen to a radio broadcast of the Test.
When he awoke he found his room filled with smoke and the hotel on fire. He barely had time to flee out to the balcony before his bed crashed through the burning floor of his room.
Les aroused the rest of the hotel guests and they were evacuated without loss of life.
Hazel, nicknamed 'The Girl Bradman' by the press, was the batting star of the Australian team.
She had faced the first ball in the first ever Test match, in Brisbane in 1934, but scored only four before she was out hit wicket.
Hazel's next match after the Test was against the North of England Women in Liverpool on 19th June, and she scored 144 not out, the first century by an Australian woman in England.
The Australians played three Tests on the Tour, winning one, losing one and drawing the other. Hazel, was the leading run scorer (306) for Australia and also led their averages (51.00). For both teams she was second in runs scored and batting average. In all matches she scored 773 runs at 51.53, with six half-centuries, in addition to her century.
Hazel was inducted into the Cricket NSW Hall of Fame in 2011. She was the third woman to be so recognised.