The Journey Of Enid Bakewell: Who Played International Cricket At The Age Of 42

Enid Bakewell

As one of the greatest ambassadors of women’s cricket, Enid Bakewell, the star English all-rounder turned 80 on 16 December, let’s go down memory lane to relive some of her greatest moments on and off the field.

Boasting of some envious statistics with both bat and ball, there is seldom any doubt that Bakewell has been one of the greatest all-rounders in English women’s cricket. Across 12 Tests and 23 ODIs for her country between 1968 and 1982, the right-hand bat made six international centuries and took 75 wickets with her left-arm spin.

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One of her centuries is a unique record in the cricket world. Her unbeaten 112 out of England’s 164 against West Indies in the second innings is the highest proportion of runs in a Test match inning, including men’s cricket as well. Bakewell scored 68.29 percent of the team’s runs in the innings. That was her last Test. In that same match, she scalped 10-75 (including career-best figures in the second innings of 7-61). The match was played at Edgbaston in 1979. In Tests, she scored 1,078 runs at an average of 59.88, with four centuries, as well as taking 50 wickets at an average of 16.62. Also, she is one of the four women cricketers to score centuries in consecutive Test innings. The consecutive centuries came against New Zealand in 1969. On her Test debut, she opened the batting against Australia in 1968 and scored a century.

Bakewell has been amazing in the limited-overs format as well. In the first-ever Women’s World Cup competition in 1973, which England won, she scored 118 in the final match against Australia and took 2/28 in 12 overs. She also played, at age 41, in the 1982 Women’s Cricket World Cup, taking 3 for 13 against India at Wanganui and then three for 29 against the International XI at Wellington. She along with Lynne Thomas set the record for the highest opening run partnership in the history of Women’s Cricket World Cup (246).

Though she retired from international cricket at the age of 42, she continued to play for East Midlands into her 50s. She is an ECB-qualified coach.

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Her tremendous achievements have been rewarded well. She has been an honorary member of the MCC since 2000. She was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2012, becoming the third woman cricketer to be thus recognised (after Rachel Heyhoe-Flint and Belinda Clark). In 2014, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack selected her as one of the five greatest female players of all time.

Do you know Enid Bakewell is still playing cricket? She went to La Manga last year to play with an over-40s team from East Anglia. She fielded in the slips and stood as an umpire too. She didn’t bat because she is waiting for a knee replacement.

This story was published first on Female Cricket. The story has been published with minor editorial changes.