Sport on Saturdays: Why isn't this woman a household name?


If Alex Blackwell was a man she’d probably be famous.

This week her name would’ve been strewn throughout the media, plastered across front pages and shared thousands of times online.

Alex Blackwell is an Australian cricketer who made sporting history last weekend, but you’ve probably never heard of her.

Instead, these were the headlines we saw this week:

How badly the men’s cricket team suck at the moment.


Again, the men and how crap they’re doing.

Even what colour ball the men are going to use in their cricket games

But these were the headlines you probably didn’t see:

And… nothing else.

I couldn’t even find a headline announcing one of the most exciting things to happen in the sport last week – that veteran cricketer, Alex Blackwell became the second Australian female ever to make over 1000 runs in her twenty-twenty match career.

Blackwell had been stuck on 990 runs for a while, and during that time had made three ducks (zero runs). On Sunday, she managed to celebrate a dual milestone when she also took out the title for Australia’s most-capped woman’s cricketer during her 190th match for the Southern Stars.

A huge milestone for any cricketer – and you didn’t hear about it.

Blackwell became the second woman ever in Australian history to achieve a huge score on an international sporting field and the only woman to have capped 190 games for an Australian cricket team. Yet the media overlooked her achievements and ran headlines about what colour ball the men were going to play with.

Last weekend the Australian women’s cricket team had a comfortable win over their strong rivals the West Indies in a T20 cricket match. During the game cricketing veteran, Alex Blackwell hit her 1000th short game run and made sporting history.


Meanwhile, in men’s cricketing news, on Monday the Australian men’s cricket team had their first series loss to Pakistan in over 20 years. In fact,  they were annihilated after losing by over 300 runs. The loss on Monday in Abu Dhabi secured Pakistan’s two-match series win at 2-0, their first over Australia since 1994.

So major success for the women’s team and not-so-much for the men. But major media coverage for the men’s team and not-so-much for the women.

This isn’t new. But I wanted to bring it to your attention because even if you don’t like cricket, you should like this: Women in Australian sport are kicking some serious ass on the international stage at the moment.

Women are breaking national records for batting and for representing their country.

I’m not trying to slam male cricketers. But it is always worth checking out what is often buried in the back, bottom corner of a newspaper: That the women who play cricket for Australia are absolutely dominating.

We need Alex Blackwell to be a household name – she’s your current defender of cricketing pride, Australia!

And in other sports news from the week…

– This week The Hockeyroos’ named their 19-woman Champions Trophy squad. The girls will play in New Zealand and in Argentina.

– Congratulations to our women’s Young Matildas who had a great start in the qualifiers for next year’s AFC under-19 Championships. They annihilated Hong Kong 6 – 0 in Hanoi on Wednesday.

– And, some sad sporting news: Australian triathlete and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Jackie Fairweather passed away last Sunday. She was 46 years old. Fairweather had won the World Championship Triathlon in Cleveland in 1996 and the World Duathlon crown in the same year. The champion triathlete had won silver medals in 1995, 1997 and 1999, a bronze medal in the 2002 Commonwealth Games and won the Gold Coast Marathon in 2005. Our thoughts are with her friends and family.

Have you seen anything in sport that you’d like to talk about?