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Former Aust cricket skipper Mary Loy dies
16:12 AEST Thu Dec 12 2013

The captain of the first women's team to dine in the famous Long Room at Lord's, former Australian skipper Mary Loy, was a trailblazer for her sport.

Loy (nee Allitt) died this week aged 88.

Born in Deniliquin in country NSW, she made her debut against England in 1951 and played 11 Tests including three as captain in 1963 when she led the tour of England - the first by the women's team in 12 years.

Cricket Australia chief executive James Sutherland said that side were regarded as pioneers of women's cricket and paved the way for today's elite players.

They were the first women's team - Australian or English - to be invited by the committee of the Marylebone Cricket Club to dine with members in the Long Room at Lord's.

Their tour attracted plenty of media attention and they were tagged Glamour Girls by the UK press.

A top-order right-hand bat, Loy made her top score of 76 on that tour against England. She finished her international career with 348 runs at 17.4.

Loy was retrospectively presented with her Baggy Green and Test cap No.35 by former men's captain Steve Waugh.

After retiring from cricket she played a pivotal role in the development and support for junior cricketers in her local community in the Riverina, NSW.

In 2007 she was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the General Division in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for her commitment to the game.

She also received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 and the Centenary Medal in 2001.

Sutherland said Loy held a significant place in the history of women's cricket.

"Mary and her teammates were trailblazers of the game and she led her teammates through a period of significant societal change, helping to pave the way for today's elite players."

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