Rachael Heyhoe Flint

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The Right Honourable
The Baroness Heyhoe Flint
Baroness Heyhoe Flint 2015.png
In the House of Lords in 2015
Personal information
Full nameRachael Heyhoe Flint
Born(1939-06-11)11 June 1939
Wolverhampton, England
Died18 January 2017(2017-01-18) (aged 77)
BowlingRight-arm leg break
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 51)2 December 1960 v South Africa
Last Test1 July 1979 v West Indies
ODI debut (cap 4)23 June 1973 v International XI
Last ODI7 February 1982 v Australia
Domestic team information
1963–1985West Midlands
Career statistics
Competition WTest WODI WFC WLA
Matches 22 23 51 43
Runs scored 1,594 643 3,356 1,110
Batting average 45.54 58.45 46.61 42.69
100s/50s 3/10 1/4 8/18 1/8
Top score 179 114 179 114
Balls bowled 402 18 870 64
Wickets 3 1 7 5
Bowling average 68.00 20.00 66.42 7.80
5 wickets in innings 0 0 0 0
10 wickets in match 0 0
Best bowling 1/3 1/13 2/29 2/16
Catches/stumpings 13/– 6/– 30/– 12/–
Source: CricketArchive, 7 March 2021

Rachael Heyhoe Flint, Baroness Heyhoe Flint, OBE, DL (née Heyhoe; 11 June 1939 – 18 January 2017) was an English cricketer, businesswoman and philanthropist. She was best known for being captain of England from 1966 to 1978, and was unbeaten in six Test series: in total, she played for the English women's cricket team from 1960 to 1982. Heyhoe Flint was captain when her team won the inaugural 1973 Women's Cricket World Cup, which England hosted.[1] She was also the first female cricketer to hit a six in a Test match, and one of the first ten women to become a member of the MCC.

She also played as goalkeeper for the England national field hockey team in 1964.

According to Scyld Berry: "She was, among other achievements, the Dr WG Grace of women's cricket – the pioneer without whom the game would not be what it is."[2]

Early life[edit]

Rachael Heyhoe was born in Wolverhampton. Her parents Roma Crocker and Geoffrey Heyhoe were teachers of physical education who met at a college in Denmark. They both taught in Wolverhampton.

She was educated at Wolverhampton Girls' High School from 1950 to 1957, and then attended Dartford College of Physical Education (now part of University of Greenwich) until 1960.[3]

Cricket career[edit]

Heyhoe Flint was chiefly a right-handed batter, and occasional leg spin bowler. She played in 22 Women's Test cricket matches from 1960 to 1979, with a batting average of 45.54 in 38 innings. She took 3 Test wickets and scored three Test centuries, including her highest score of 179 not out, a world record when she scored it in 1976 also against Australia at the Oval, earning a draw to save the series by batting for more than 8½ hours. She also played in 23 Women's One Day Internationals, with a batting average of 58.45 and a top score of 114. She was captain of the England women's cricket team for 12 years, 1966 to 1978; while the captain, she never lost a match.

She hit the first six in a women's Test match in 1963, at the Oval against Australia.[4] She was instrumental in the effort to hold the first Women's World Cup, securing funding from her friend Jack Hayward.[5] She captained the England team in the tournament, and scored a half-century in the final, which England won against Australia at Edgbaston on 28 July 1973.[6] The women led the men: first men's Cricket World Cup was not held for another two years.

In 1970 she was one of those who set up a fund to pay for police protection for the planned South African tour. and she was one of the many who argued that sport and politics should be kept separate. Unequivocally in her 1978 autobiography she said "Who are we... to tell the South Africans how to run their country?" It was, she said, "... their country, and hardly the place of any English people to criticise". This was also the position of the British Women's Cricket Association in which she played a leading part.[citation needed]

She was captain of the first England women's team to play at Lord's in the 1976 Women's Ashes series. After being replaced as England captain in 1978, she played her last Test match in the 1979 series against West Indies, but went on to play in the 1982 World Cup.[7] Her final WODI appearance was in the final of the 1982 Women's Cricket World Cup.[8]

She primarily played domestic cricket for West Midlands, whilst also making appearances for West of England, East Midlands, Warwickshire and various composite XIs.[9]

Other sports[edit]

She played as goalkeeper for the England national field hockey team in 1964[3] and was a single-figure handicap golfer.[10] She also played hockey, squash and golf for Staffordshire.[11]

She served on the board of directors of Wolverhampton Wanderers from 1997 to 2003 and was then a vice-president.

Outside sport[edit]

She was a teacher of physical education from 1960 to 1964, at Wolverhampton Grammar School and then Northicote School also in Wolverhampton. She then became a journalist with the Wolverhampton Chronicle. She was a sports writer on a freelance basis for the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph. She also worked as a broadcaster, and in 1973 she was appointed TV's first woman sports presenter with ITV's World of Sport. After retiring from cricket, she continued to work as a journalist and broadcaster and also became an award-winning after-dinner speaker, businesswoman and board director.

In 1973, she was selected by the Guild of Professional Toastmasters as the Best After Dinner Speaker.

She was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1972,[12] and was one of the first ten women admitted to the MCC in 1999, as an honorary life member. In 2004, she was the first woman elected to the full committee of the MCC and latterly became a Trustee. She was made a director of Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. in 1997, later becoming an ex officio Vice-President.[13]

She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the West Midlands in 1997,[14] and was President of the Lady Taverners charity from 2001 to 2011.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2008 New Year Honours,[15][16] and in October 2010 was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, the first woman to achieve this accolade.[17]

She became one of the first female directors of the England and Wales Cricket Board in 2010.[18][19][20]

On 19 November 2010, it was announced that she was to be ennobled to sit in the House of Lords as a Conservative Party peer.[21] "I was completely taken by surprise when I took the call from the Prime Minister in September", Heyhoe Flint said. "Obviously I am really thrilled at my appointment but still very humbled at the thought of joining such a historic institution ... My background in sport, journalism, charity and community work will I hope stand me in good stead, and I hope I can make a positive contribution as a working peer. I will certainly look forward to the commute from one Lord's to another Lords."[22] She was subsequently invested as a life peer on 21 January 2011 taking the title Baroness Heyhoe Flint, of Wolverhampton in the County of West Midlands.[23] The formal designation of her title without a hyphen broke a rule that peerage titles could only have one word, previously observed by the likes of Lord Lloyd-George, Lord Alanbrooke and Lord Lloyd-Webber.

In April 2011, Heyhoe Flint was granted the freedom of Wolverhampton.[24]

Private life[edit]

On 1 November 1971, Rachael Heyhoe married Derrick Flint (1924–2018). Her husband had a first-class cricket career comprising 10 matches for Warwickshire CCC in 1948–1949 playing as a leg-spin and googly bowler. She adopted a double-barrelled surname, becoming Rachael Heyhoe Flint (erroneously hyphenated in many sources as "Heyhoe-Flint").

Their son Ben (born 1974) also played cricket. He emigrated to Singapore in 2001 where he runs businesses related to sports and entertainment. She was also stepmother to Derrick Flint's children: Simon, Hazel and Rowan Flint.[25]


Her death, after a short illness, was announced by Lord's on 18 January 2017.[26][27]

She was remembered during the in memoriam at the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards.

In memory of Heyhoe Flint, in 2017 the International Cricket Council named their ICC Women's Cricketer of the Year accolade, the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Award.[28] In 2020, the women's domestic 50-over competition was named the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy.[29]


With Netta Rheinberg, she co-authored a history of women's cricket: Fair Play: The Story of Women's Cricket, Angus & Robertson, 1976, (ISBN 978-0-207-95698-0). She also wrote an instructional guide to field hockey called, Rachael Heyhoe Flint: Field Hockey with Barron's Sports Books (ISBN 978-0-8120-5158-2) in 1978. She authored her autobiography Heyhoe (ISBN 978-0-7207-1049-6) in 1978, published by Pelham Books with a foreword from comedian and cricket-lover Eric Morecambe.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Rachael Heyhoe Flint receives her OBE". Birmingham Post. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Cricket mourns death of Baroness Rachael Heyhoe-Flint – the WG Grace of women's game". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 20 January 2017. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b Duggan, Emily (10 August 2013). "Rachael Heyhoe Flint: Still knocking them for six". Independent. Archived from the original on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  4. ^ "A cricketer who changed the game". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 11 May 2016.
  5. ^ The tireless champion of women's cricket liberation Archived 22 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine, ESPNcricinfo, 19 January 2017
  6. ^ Women's World Cup, 21st Match: England Women v Australia Women at Birmingham, 28 July 1973 Archived 31 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine, ESPNcricinfo
  7. ^ "Baroness Heyhoe-Flint MBE DL". WomenSpeakers. Archived from the original on 21 March 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2013.
  8. ^ "Statsguru: Women's One-Day Internationals, Batting records". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  9. ^ "Player Profile: Rachael Heyhoe Flint". CricketArchive. Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  10. ^ Ruscoe, Sybil (26 October 2004). "Heyhoe Flint finds another boundary for MCC at Lord's". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  11. ^ Biography from 2002 Archived 25 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine on her honorary doctorate from University of Bradford
  12. ^ "No. 45678". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1972. p. 6268.
  13. ^ "Rachael Heyhoe Flint dies aged 77". BBC News. 18 January 2017. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  14. ^ "DLs on Supplemental List". wmlieutenancy.org. Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  15. ^ Radley and Heyhoe-Flint honoured Archived 17 July 2012 at archive.today, ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 29 December 2007
  16. ^ "No. 58557". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 December 2007. p. 10.
  17. ^ BBC report on ICC awards, BBC. Retrieved 6 October 2010
  18. ^ Rachael Heyhoe Flint, trailblazer for women’s sport, dies aged 77 Archived 22 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian
  19. ^ "Tributes pour in for Rachael Heyhoe-Flint, former England women's captain". The Independent. 18 January 2017. Archived from the original on 26 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  20. ^ "Rachael Heyhoe Flint, England women's cricket captain – obituary". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 23 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  21. ^ Press release Latest peerages announced Archived 29 January 2017 at the Wayback Machine, Downing Street, Downing Street Formal Announcement 19 November 2010
  22. ^ "Rachael Heyhoe Flint appointed to House of Lords | Marylebone Cricket Club". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 12 November 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
  23. ^ "No. 59681". The London Gazette. 26 January 2011. p. 1261.
  24. ^ "Freedom of Wolverhampton award for Rachael Heyhoe-Flint". BBC News. 20 April 2011. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
  25. ^ Rachael Heyhoe Flint Archived 9 July 2017 at the Wayback Machine; CricketArchive.com. Retrieved 20 March 2014.
  26. ^ "MCC saddened by Rachael Heyhoe Flint passing". Lord's. 18 January 2017. Archived from the original on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  27. ^ "Women's pioneer Heyhoe-Flint dies aged 77". ESPNcricinfo. 18 January 2017. Archived from the original on 18 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  28. ^ "Perry clinches inaugural Rachael Heyhoe Flint award for ICC Women's cricketer of the year" (Press release). 21 December 2017. Archived from the original on 24 December 2017. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Women's cricket: Domestic 50-over competition named Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy". BBC Sport. 11 August 2020. Retrieved 14 August 2020.

External links[edit]