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Former Australia wicketkeeper Lorna Beal dies aged 96

Former Australia wicketkeeper Lorna Beal (nee Larter) has passed away at the age of 96.
Former Australia wicketkeeper Lorna Beal dies aged 96

Former Australia wicketkeeper Lorna Beal (nee Larter) has passed away at the age of 96.

She played seven Test matches for Australia and she had made her debut in Wellington against New Zealand.

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.

"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," Cricket Australia's CEO Nick Hockley said in an official statement.

"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," he added.

It was during this time she was selected to open the batting for Victoria and Australia. Beal had 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. 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.

( With inputs from ANI )

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