Rachel Heyhoe-Flint - A Gentleman in life and at the crease!
I always quote Basil as one of the real gentlemen of cricket; many years ago in the mid-1970's I played for Lye Cricket Club Presidents XI in an annual cricket game against Worcestershire CC - I was the only lady in among 21 lovely male cricketers - what marvellous odds! Lye CC is on the edge of the Black Country-but a super Club which always had a great crowd for this annual fundraiser.
I so well remember Basil had thrilled the crowd with some super typical swashbuckling hitting-and leading up to the tea interval he was on 98 when I was brought on to bowl; my bowling is best described as flighted filth - and only to be used on rare occasions in such public matches! However Basil very respectfully patted back my first full toss; let the next long hop pass gently by the leg stump and then the next ball - a straight one no less-completely played all round it and was clean bowled! Now I know, my team knew, that Basil had missed the ball on purpose - but the crowd didn't and suddenly I was their heroine! Basil walked off and as he passed the umpire, the said official commented to Basil, that he had a century there for the taking and dear kind Basil retorted to the umpire "I have never hit a woman in my life and I was not going to hit Rachael"!!
What a lovely gentleman - I shall always remember Basil for his great warmth and friendliness towards me-not just for giving up his wicket-but on every occasion we met; he always referred to me as "Skipper"; my great hero forever.
Cricketer, Journalist & Broadcaster.
Rachael Heyhoe-Flint is probably the most famous female cricketer throughout the cricketing world and created a precedence for women's cricket, not least of all in commitment to the game. She represented England from 1960 until 1982 and captained the side from 1966 to 1978, winning the World Cup in 1973. Her side was the first women's team to play at Lords and she was recognised by the MCC making her an honorary life member in 1999.
Rachael Heyhoe-Flint was chiefly a batsman and throughout the 22 test matches she played, held an average of 45.54 over 38 innings. She scored 3 test centuries with her highest score of 179, batted over a period of 8½ hours, against Australia in 1976, creating a world record at that time.
Rachael is a director of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club and President of the LadyTaveners.