Full name Helen Elizabeth Archdale
Born August 21, 1907, Paddington, London
Died January 11, 2000, Killara, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (aged 92 years 143 days)
Major teams England Women
Batting style Right-hand bat
|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|
Helen Elizabeth Archdale, MBE, who died on January 11, 2000, aged 92, was captain of the pioneering England women's team that toured Australia and New Zealand in 1934-35. The tour did much both to raise the status of women's cricket and to heal some of the damage done to Anglo-Australian cricket relations by Bodyline two years earlier. Betty Archdale herself earned much of the credit: "...her forthright yet engaging personality made her a popular figure to whom the sizable Australian crowds responded warmly," according to Wisden Australia. She was also a capable batsman, who twice made important 32s in a low-scoring series that England won. Instead of leading England again on the planned 1939-40 tour, she was commissioned in the WRNS and, after the war, emigrated to Australia. There she switched from a career in law to education, becoming principal of Sydney University Women's College and then head of Abbotsleigh Girls School, where she introduced sex education - and cricket. Betty Archdale also became a TV and radio personality, well-known for her witty and sensible approach to problems. In 1997 she was voted one of Australia's 100 Living Treasures and, in 1999, one of the first ten female honorary members of MCC. Her mother was a leading suffragette, imprisoned in 1912, and Betty was said to have collected stones for her to throw.
Wisden Cricketers' Almanack
Made an honorary member of the MCC in March 1999 (one of the first group of ten women so honoured).