Full name Peggy Antonio
Born June 2, 1917, Melbourne, Victoria
Died January 11, 2002, Bundoora, Melbourne, Victoria (aged 84 years 223 days)
Major teams Australia Women, Victoria Women
Also known as Peggy Howard
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak googly
|Test debut||Australia Women v England Women at Brisbane, Dec 28-31, 1934 scorecard|
|Last Test||England Women v Australia Women at The Oval, Jul 10-13, 1937 scorecard|
Antonio (later Howard), Peggy, who died in Melbourne on January 11, 2002, aged 84, played in Australia's first six women's Tests. Her attacking leg-spin bowling, with its tantalising flight and variations of off-breaks, top-spin and an occasional googly, brought selection for Victoria at 15 and soon led her to be dubbed "the girl Grimmett". Two years later she was taking the field against England in the first women's Test, at Brisbane in December 1934, having staked her claim with match figures of ten for 48 in England's game with Victoria. When she had the opener Betty Snowball caught for 15, Peggy Antonio became Australia's first female wicket-taker. In the Third Test at the MCG she thrilled her local supporters by taking six for 49 in the first innings. Touring England in 1937, she was at the top of her form. She spun Australia to victory in the opening Test at Northampton with six for 51 and three for 40, and finished the series with 19 wickets at 11.15. She also opened the batting in the first two Tests, then helped ensure that the series would be drawn 1-1 with her Test-best 37 at The Oval. Against Kent she hit an unbeaten 103 and at 20 she had the cricket world at her feet. Instead she gave the game away, complaining that cricket was becoming too relentless to be enjoyable. She married during the war and became matriarch of a large family.
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