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News

Faith Thomas, the first Indigenous woman to play cricket for Australia, dies aged 90

She played a Test match for Australia against England at the Junction Oval in Melbourne in February 1958

Faith Thomas in her baggy green  •  Getty Images and Cricket Australia

Faith Thomas in her baggy green  •  Getty Images and Cricket Australia

Faith Thomas, the first Indigenous woman to play for Australia in any sport, has died aged 90.
ESPNcricinfo has been granted permission to use Aunty Faith Thomas' name and image.
Thomas, a fast bowler, played a Test match for Australia against England at Junction Oval in Melbourne in February 1958.
Thomas was a survivor of the Stolen Generations policy, and was raised at Colebrook Home in South Australia's Flinders Ranges, where she played cricket on dirt roads using homemade bats and a rock if there was no ball as a child. She got a chance to study nursing at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Adelaide, which is where she got into hockey and cricket.
She began her career playing club games in Adelaide, and shortly after, she was selected to play for South Australia. A year after that, she played Test cricket for Australia. She was then picked in the squad to tour England and New Zealand but she chose to focus on her nursing career.
In 2019, she was awarded the Order of Australia for her services to cricket and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. The Adelaide Strikers also honour her by playing for the Faith Thomas Trophy every year in the WBBL.
Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley said: "Faith Thomas made a wonderful and groundbreaking contribution to cricket and the community, and this is a very sad day for all those fortunate to have known her or who were touched by her many accomplishments.
"As the first Aboriginal woman to represent Australia in Test cricket, Faith was an inspiration to those who have followed and she leaves an indelible mark on the game. Faith's work in the community in many roles including as a nurse and midwife was also immense, and the care and compassion she displayed for the many people she helped was truly remarkable.
"On behalf of everyone across Australian Cricket, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Faith's family, friends, teammates and all those who have benefitted from her vast contribution to Australian life."