Photo Credit: Cricket Australia
Cricket Australia and Cricket Victoria have paid tribute to former Australian and Victorian cricketer Lorna Beal (née Larter), who has passed away aged 96.
Beal was born in Hawthorn, Melbourne in 1923 as Lorna Larter.
A right-handed batter and wicketkeeper, Beal took up cricket at the age of 12 before joining the South Hawthorn Ladies Cricket Club, later representing the Hawthorn Ladies Cricket Club. It was during this time she was selected to open the batting for Victoria and Australia.
Beal made her Australian debut against New Zealand in 1948 in the first women’s Test match between the two countries.
She went on to player a further six Tests for Australia, including her final match during Australia’s 1951 tour to England. Remarkably Larter and teammates travelled by ship to England and it was on this trip she met her future husband Roy.
Beal retired following the 1951 tour, marrying Roy and taking up golf. She was a member of the National Ladies’ Golf Union Council for seven years and Club Captain of the Box Hill Golf Club. She also became a member and supporter of the Pioneer Victorian Ladies Cricket Association, a social group formed in 1930 that still reunites annually.
Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley, said:
“Our thoughts are with Lorna’s family, as well as all the friends she made throughout her career.
“There’s no doubt Lorna faced challenges that today’s players could never dream of, including spending six weeks at sea to get to England to play the game she loved.
“It’s pioneers like Lorna who paved the way for future generations and have made the game what it is today.
“One of the best in the business behind the stumps, we pay our respects to Lorna and acknowledge the legacy she has left on the game of cricket.”