Michael Clarke was not the only former Australian cricket captain on the Queen’s Birthday Honours List: Lyn Larsen was named a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for her contribution to a women’s game that has changed significantly since her retirement.
- Cricketer Lyn Larsen captained NSW and Australia
- She did so while still living in Lismore
- The 57-year-old was this week recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list
Larsen led Australia to a world cup victory in 1988 without ever having to move away from her country home in Lismore, on the New South Wales north coast.
“Everyone assumed that I must have moved to Sydney,” she said.
The leg-spinning all-rounder played in 15 test matches and 49 one-day internationals between 1984 and 1994.
She was the captain of New South Wales and Australia, and also captain-coach of the Lismore and District women’s team.
“When we played, there were comps everywhere — there were local comps, which is why we used to have the country championships,” Larsen said.
“Most of the regional towns had a women’s comp, so I could still stay at home and play for Lismore, play for NSW Country, play for NSW and play for Australia still based in Lismore.”
The 57-year-old said that would not be possible now.
“They can play with the boys, there is that amalgamation, but most of them will have to leave home even at an under-age level,” Larsen said.
“If they see they’ve got potential they will be having to make the trek either to Brisbane or some of the girls, as soon as they can, will move to Sydney to get into those junior state squads and those training squads.”
Boom time for women’s game
Women’s cricket has boomed in recent years, culminating in a crowd of more than 86,000 attending the World Cup final in Melbourne in March.
Larsen was there, along with other members of her victorious 1988 team.
“Just that sense, amongst that group of women, of just pride and that sense of achievement and sharing in what the girls were experiencing, I think it’s just something that none of us would ever have envisaged,” she said.
“We probably had about 3,000 there at our final, which still felt like a crowd and it was a big event.
Cricket NSW chief executive, Lee Germon, praised the former skipper’s contribution to the sport in a post on the organisation’s website.
“Lyn not only had a stellar playing career but has given so much back to the game,” he said.
“She played an integral role in the growth of women’s cricket, both through her playing career and later in her role as an administrator.