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News

Australia's oldest Test cricketer Norma Johnston dies at 95

She played seven Tests including tours of New Zealand and England, between 1948 and 1951

From left (back row): Valma Batty, Alma Vogt, Myrtle Baylis, Mavis Jones, Ruth Dow, Betty Wilson, Dot Laughton, Gladys Phillips. Sitting: Mary Allitt, Joan Schmidt, Mollie Dive, Ray Miller (team manager), Una Paisley, Amy Hudson, Norma Whiteman. On ground: Lorna Larter, June James

Norma Johnston (middle row first from right) with the Australia team in 1951 at the Sydney Cricket Ground  •  Fox Photos / Stringer / Getty Images

Norma Johnston , the Australia Test cricketer, has died at 95. A middle-order batter and medium-pace bowler, Johnston (nee Whiteman) played seven Tests from 1948 to 1951. Until her passing, Johnston was the oldest Australian Test cricketer alive.
"Everyone across Australian Cricket will be saddened to hear of Norma's passing," Cricket Australia chief executive Nick Hockley said. "As a pioneer, Norma not only made a wonderful contribution as a player but helped set the platform for the many thousands of women and girls now playing the game."
Johnston made her debut alongside the legendary Betty Wilson on a tour of New Zealand in 1948 and finished her career following the 1951 tour of England. She made 151 Test runs at 25.16 and took 22 wickets at 20.54.
"I loved listening to her recall touring with the pioneers of the women's game," Lisa Sthalekar in a statement from ACA, "and it was an interest she carried all the way through to her love of the WBBL and the thrill she got from just how far the game had progressed.
"Being a girl from Bathurst in country New South Wales, she always kept an eye on, and had a place close to her heart for all the country girls who would come through and play for their state and Australia."
Men's captain Pat Cummins also tweeted to remember Johnston's contribution to Australian cricket. "This morning I was deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Norma Johnston," the tweet said.
"She was passionate about cricket, about her home town of Bathurst and the many women who would follow in her footsteps representing their state and country. Her contribution to Australian cricket and the friendships she made with so many within the game will live on forever."