Template:EngvarB Template:Use dmy dates Template:Infobox cricketer

Rachael Heyhoe Flint, Baroness Heyhoe Flint, Template:Postnominals (Template:Nee Heyhoe; 11 June 1939 – 18 January 2017) was an English cricketer, businesswoman and philanthropist. She was best known for being captain of England from 1966 to 1978, and was unbeaten in six Test series: in total, she played for the English women's cricket team from 1960 to 1982. Heyhoe Flint was captain when her team won the inaugural 1973 Women's Cricket World Cup, which England hosted.[1] She was also the first female cricketer to hit a six in a Test match, and one of the first ten women to became a member of the MCC.

She also played as goalkeeper for the England national field hockey team in 1964.

According to Scyld Berry: "She was, among other achievements, the Dr WG Grace of women's cricket – the pioneer without whom the game would not be what it is."[2]

Early life Edit

Rachael Heyhoe was born in Wolverhampton. Her parents Roma Crocker and Geoffrey Heyhoe were teachers of physical education who met at a college in Denmark. They both taught in Wolverhampton.

She was educated at Wolverhampton Girls' High School from 1950 to 1957, and then attended Dartford College of Physical Education (now part of University of Greenwich) until 1960.[3]

Cricket career Edit

Heyhoe Flint was chiefly a right-handed batsman, and occasional leg spin bowler. She played in 22 Women's Test cricket matches from 1960 to 1979, with a batting average of 45.54 in 38 innings. She took 3 Test wickets and scored three Test centuries, including her highest score of 179 not out, a world record when she scored it in 1976 also against Australia at the Oval, earning a draw to save the series by batting for more than 8½ hours. She also played in 23 Women's One Day Internationals, with a batting average of 58.45 and a top score of 114. She was captain of the England women's cricket team for 12 years, 1966 to 1978; while the captain, she never lost a match.

She hit the first six in a women's Test match in 1963, at the Oval against at Australia.[4] She was instrumental in the effort to hold the first Women's World Cup, securing funding from her friend Jack Hayward.[5] She captained the England team in the tournament, and scored a half-century in the final, which England won against Australia at Edgbaston on 28 July 1973.[6] The women led the men: first men's Cricket World Cup was not held for another two years.

She was captain of the first England women's team to play at Lord's in the 1976 Women's Ashes series. After being replaced as England captain in 1978, she played her last Test match in the 1979 series against West Indies, but went on to play in the 1982 Women's Cricket World Cup.[7]

Other sports Edit

She played as goalkeeper for the England national field hockey team in 1964[3] and was a single-figure handicap golfer.[8] She also played hockey, squash and golf for Staffordshire.[9]

She served on the board of directors of Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1997 to 2003 and was then a vice-president.

Outside sport Edit

She was a teacher of physical education from 1960 to 1964, at Wolverhampton Grammar School and then Northicote School also in Wolverhampton. She then became a journalist with the Wolverhampton Chronicle. She was a sports writer on a freelance basis for the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph. She also worked as a broadcaster, and in 1973 she was appointed TV's first woman sports presenter with ITV's World of Sport. After retiring from cricket, she continued to work as a journalist andbroadcaster and also became an award-winning after-dinner speaker, businesswoman and board director.

In 1973, she was selected by the Guild of Professional Toastmasters as the Best After Dinner Speaker.

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1972,[10] and was one of the first ten women admitted to the MCC in 1999, as an honorary life member. In 2004, she was the first woman elected to the full committee of the MCC and latterly became a Trustee. She was made a director of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. in 1997, later becoming an ex officio Vice-President.[11]

She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands in 1997,[12] and was President of the Lady Taverners charity from 2001 to 2011.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours,[13][14] and in October 2010 was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, the first woman to achieve this accolade.[15]

She became a one of the first female directors of the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2010.[16][17][18]

On 19 November 2010, it was announced that she was to be ennobled to sit in the House of Lords as a Conservative Party peer.[19] "I was completely taken by surprise when I took the call from the Prime Minister in September," Heyhoe Flint said. "Obviously I am really thrilled at my appointment but still very humbled at the thought of joining such a historic institution ... My background in sport, journalism, charity and community work will I hope stand me in good stead, and I hope I can make a positive contribution as a working peer. I will certainly look forward to the commute from one Lord's to another Lords."[20] She was subsequently invested as a life peer on 21 January 2011 taking the title Baroness Heyhoe Flint, of Wolverhampton in the County of West Midlands.[21] The formal designation of her title without a hyphen broke a rule that peerage titles could only have one word, previously observed by the likes of Lord Lloyd-George, Lord Alanbrooke and Lord Lloyd-Webber.

In April 2011, Heyhoe-Flint was granted the freedom of Wolverhampton.[22]

Private life Edit

In November 1971, Rachael Heyhoe married Derrick Flint (born 14 June 1924). Her husband had a first-class cricket career comprising 10 matches for Warwickshire CCC in 1948–1949 playing as a leg-spin and googly bowler. She adopted a double-barrelled surname, becoming Rachael Heyhoe Flint (hyphenated in many sources as "Heyhoe-Flint").

Their son Ben (born 1982) also played cricket but emigrated to Singapore in 2001 where he runs businesses related to sports and entertainment. She was also stepmother to Derrick Flint's children: Simon, Hazel and Rowan Flint.[23]

Death Edit

Her death, after a short illness, was announced by Lord's on 18 January 2017.[24][25]

Bibliography Edit

With Netta Rheinberg, she co-authored a history of women's cricket: Fair Play: The Story of Women's Cricket, Angus & Robertson, 1976, (ISBN 978-0-207-95698-0). She also wrote an instructional guide to field hockey called, Rachael Heyhoe Flint: Field Hockey with Barron's Sports Books (ISBN 978-0-8120-5158-2) in 1978. She authored her autobiography Heyhoe (ISBN 978-0-7207-1049-6) in 1978, published by Pelham Books with a foreword from comedian and cricket-lover Eric Morecambe.

See also Edit

References Edit

External links Edit

Template:England Squad 1973 Women's Cricket World Cup Template:England Squad 1982 Women's Cricket World Cup

Template:Authority control