(REUTERS) – Rachael Heyhoe Flint, who captained England against Australia in the first women’s cricket match played at Lord’s in 1976, has died at the age of 77.The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) expressed condolences yesterday at the passing of a pioneer of the women’s game, who captained England between 1966 and 1978 and in 2004 was the first woman elected to the MCC committee.
“This is a terribly sad day for everyone involved in cricket and all of us at MCC,” said club president Matthew Fleming in a statement.
“Rachael Heyhoe Flint was a pioneer of women’s cricket – she was the first global superstar in the women’s game and her overall contribution to MCC, cricket and sport in general was immense.”
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also hailed her contribution to the game.
“Rachael was one of our sport’s true pioneers and it is no exaggeration to say that she paved the way for the progress enjoyed by recent generations of female cricketers,” said Clare Connor, the ECB’s director of women’s cricket.
Heyhoe Flint, who played 22 Test matches and 23 one-day internationals, was a vice-president of Wolverhampton Wanderers soccer club, whose players will wear black armbands in Saturday’s Championship game at Norwich City.