Cricket NSW Life Member Wendy Weir AM passed away late Saturday afternoon, losing her long battle with cancer at age 72, leaving an enormous legacy to the sport in this state.
Ms Weir – a left-arm orthodox spinner and strong right-hand middle-to-lower order batter – represented Australia in two Test matches, went to the first Women’s One-Day World Cup in 1973, played in more than 30 matches for NSW and captained her state in 1978. But perhaps her greatest contribution was off the field.
She was Treasurer of the NSW Women’s Cricket Association for 23 years between 1972 and 1995 before serving eight years as President prior to the integration of the Women’s Association into what we now know as Cricket NSW.
Her role in that process cannot be understated. Working with then CEO David Gilbert and Chairman Bob Horsell OAM, Ms Weir was pivotal to the integration of men’s and women’s cricket in NSW across a two-year period from 2002 to 2004.
She was a state selector for the NSW women’s team for 16 years from 1985 to 2001 and an Australian women’s selector from 1995 to 2008.
Ms Weir was made a member of the Order of Australia in June 2002 for her services to women’s cricket as an administrator, particularly through the New South Wales Women’s Cricket Association.
As she did in cricket, Ms Weir gave much of her time working with the Sisters of Mercy in Brooklyn, on the Central Coast, helping girls lead better lives.
Former President of the International Women’s Cricket Council and Cricket NSW Life Member, Ann Mitchell OAM, enjoyed a very long friendship with Ms Weir formed through the NSW Women’s Cricket Association.
“We played together in the junior state team, which was the Under 21s back in the 60s, then we played together in the state team,” said Ms Mitchell.
“(She was a spin bowler) who flighted the ball a lot and a very determined player.”
1978 NSW state women's team, captain Wendy Weir is front row, third from left (Bradman Museum)
Good friend, Cricket NSW Life Member and Executive Director at the Bradman Museum, Rina Hore gave Ms Weir the ultimate compliment describing her as “Mrs Cricket NSW.”
“She had blue blood,” said Ms Hore.
“In NSW, her contribution was phenomenal. She worked really hard, playing out in Cronulla in the early days, they played on this rough park and not on a proper oval, but she used to help get Caringbah Oval for us when NSW was playing against visiting teams,” said Ms Mitchell.
“When she moved further north, the Kur-ring-gai team became her baby.
“She also helped us with lots of state coaching and coaching clinics.
“Really a 50-year contribution to cricket in every shape and form.”
Former Australian allrounder and NSW Breakers captain, now broadcaster, Lisa Sthalekar said Ms Weir was “one of those pioneers that set up for what we’re starting to see now” with the advancement of the women’s game.
“I knew her as the chair of selectors for Australia and also New South Wales,” said Sthalekar.
“(She had) always been a huge supporter of the game and her contribution to NSW cricket was enormous.”
“She was a hard person to please sometimes. She gave you pretty honest feedback, but you knew where you stood with Wendy. I enjoyed our banter.”
A tough, no-nonsense leader on the field as well, Ms Mitchell said “if she wanted you to pull your socks up, she’d tell you.”
“Wendy was a tough leader, one of those that didn’t muck around,” said Ms Mitchell.
“But they all respected her and they all worked as hard as they could for her.”
Before women’s cricket was broadcast or even received widespread media coverage, it was hard work to just keep women’s cricket alive.
Ms Weir worked tirelessly to ensure women cricketers continued to have opportunities to play the game they loved.
“Wendy, (Cricket NSW Life Member) Menna Davies and myself, as President we sort of formed this trio and we hosted some successful games, we hosted a Test against England up in Gosford during the mid-1980s," Ms Mitchell said.
Ann Mitchell, Menna Davies, then Governor-General Quentin Bryce and Wendy Weir at Admiralty House.
"She was walking around with a bucket – because there was no charge for entry in those days – so she took a bucket around as the Treasurer and got people to donate. She never missed an opportunity,” Ms Mitchell said with a smile.
When NSW men’s and women’s cricket merged in 2003, all Women’s Association Life Members became Cricket NSW Life Members.
Wendy Weir’s contribution to cricket as a player, coach and administrator will be remembered by many far and wide across NSW and Australia and never forgotten.
The funeral service for Ms Wendy Weir will be held this Saturday 5 December:
St Edwards College, The Edmund Rice Centre
13 Fredrick Street
Please note that numbers will be limited to 300 with COVID restrictions.
Please contact Ms Rina Hore to register your attendance by texting 0408253800 or email email@example.com
Cricket NSW would like to thank Ann Mitchell, Menna Davies, Rina Hore, Karen Hill (nee Price), Lisa Sthalekar and our historian Colin Clowes for their contribution to this tribute to the late Wendy Weir.