As the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup Final is fast approaching, I take a look back at the previous Final held at Lord’s, with some help from items held in the MCC Archive.
The 1993 edition of the Women’s World Cup was the second held in England; the very first Women’s World Cup in 1973 pre-dated the men’s competition by two years.
The competition almost did not take place due to financial difficulties; a grant from the charitable Foundation for Sport and the Arts, chaired by Tim Rice, rescued the tournament when the hoped for commercial backing did not materialise.
MCC also donated £20,000 to the Women’s Cricket Association for organising the tournament and agreed to hold the final at Lord’s. Our archive contains scorecards dating back from the 18th century, and of every match played on the main ground at Lord’s from 1950 onwards.
Below is a copy of the official scorecard for the match between England and New Zealand in 1993:
The scorecard details the result of the only Women’s Cricket World Cup match held at Lord’s to date, and also the first proper World Cup ‘Final’ held in England; the previous World Cup in 1973 consisted of a seven team ‘round robin’ format and did not have an official final.
In front of a crowd of approximately 4,000 including the then Prime Minister John Major, and a televised audience on BBC’s ‘Grandstand’, Jo Chamberlain became the player of the match, scoring 38 from 33 balls, running out the prolific New Zealand batsman Debbie Hockley and taking 1 wicket as England won by 67 runs.
As well as being the first World Cup match held at Lord’s, it was also the first women’s international to be played at the ground for 17 years. The England captain, Karen Smithies, was the joint-leading wicket taker in the tournament with 15 wickets, while opener Jan Brittin was the tournament’s leading run-scorer with 410 runs in 8 at an average of 51.25.
The England team were managed by Ruth Prideaux, who had played for England 11 times between 1957 and 1961, and never lost a match while representing England Women. She was one of the first women to pass the MCC‘s advanced coaching badge, and became England Women’s first permanent head coach.
In five years as England coach, she transformed the backroom staff, bringing in physiotherapists, psychologists and nutritionists. As a consequence, England Women won three European Cups, a Test series in New Zealand and were runners-up at the previous World Cup in Australia in 1988, to the host nation. Prideaux won the UK Female Team Coach of the Year award in 1993 by the National Coaching Foundation.
MCC recently received a donation of items relating to Prideaux from her daughter Helen MacDonald, which will be on display in the Pavilion to celebrate women’s cricket during the ICC Women’s World Cup Final. This included the report to the National Coaching Foundation supporting Prideaux’s nomination, with endorsements from the South East National Coaching Foundation, East Sussex County Council and the Sports Council’s Sports Science Support Programme for Women’s Cricket.
The booklet also contains a copy of the player development policy, guidelines that Prideaux developed to take England Women to their ultimate goal of winning the 1993 World Cup and a snippet can be seen below.
Women’s Cricket: Highlights from the MCC Collections
To celebrate the ICC Women’s World Cup Final at Lord’s, the MCC Museum has curated a highlights display and initiated a project to expand its Women’s Cricket Collection in 2020, with the aim of developing a full-scale exhibition tracing the history and development of the women’s game.
To achieve this aim, MCC is seeking items relating to individuals and organisations that helped shape the women’s game, with particular focus on items between 1914 and 1939.
If you would like to support this project please contact the MCC Collections Manager, Charlotte Goodhew, on 0207 616 8526 or at firstname.lastname@example.org