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Adelaide Oval honours women

Cricket

A female cricketer has been honoured at Adelaide Oval in what is believed to be a first in Australian sport.

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The new Lyn Fullston Lawns are the centerpiece of the South Australian Cricket Association’s ongoing commitment to recognise the leading men and women of South Australian cricket.

The lawns, located between the new Riverbank and Western grandstands and the indoor training centre, will serve as a place of reflection and a memorial to the popular player and coach, who lost her battle with cancer in 2008 at the age of 52.

It is believed to be the first time part of a major cricket stadium to be named in honour of a female player in Australia.

Lyn “Lefty” Fullston was a multi-talented sportswoman and teacher, who represented Australia in cricket and netball.  After a 15-year career, she retired as the only female Australian cricketer to take 100 international wickets.

She played 12 Tests for Australia, snaring 41 wickets, as well as 41 ODIs, taking 73 wickets in the limited-overs format.

A special women’s hall of fame area – featuring South Australian and Australian cricketers Karen Rolton, Shelley Nitschke, Faith Thomas and Joanne Broadbent – has also been unveiled at Adelaide Oval ahead of this week’s historic day/night Test Match between Australia and New Zealand.

A $535 million upgrade to make Adelaide Oval one of the most modern and revered stadiums in the world while maintaining its heritage scoreboard and grassy “hill” was completed in 2014.

Lyn Fullston’s mother Betty Fullston at the launch with South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill

Lyn Fullston’s mother Betty Fullston at the launch with South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill

The oval has previously been criticised by South Australian cricket legends, including Ian Chappell, for not recognising women when its redevelopment was launched last year.

SACA President Andrew Sinclair said the naming of the Lyn Fullston Lawns had been a long and thorough process.

“It’s been an important process for SACA to recognise the remarkable history of women’s cricket in this state. The naming of the Lyn Fullston Lawns is just the start, and we are proud to lead the way in acknowledging the tremendous contribution of our outstanding female players,” Sinclair said.

It has been a big few months for women’s sport in South Australia.

Adelaide last week won the right to host the Women’s Australian Open Golf Tournament for the next three years.

The 2016 event will be held at Grange Golf Club’s West Course in February, at Royal Adelaide in 2017 and Kooyonga in 2018.

All three sandbelt courses are ranked in the top 50 in Australia.

Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said the 2016 event will be telecast to more than 200 million households around the globe on channels in the United States, China, Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom.

He said the tournament would put the spotlight on women’s sport “which we support at all levels, from grassroots to elite”.

The last time an Australian Open was held in South Australia was 1998 (men) and 1994 (women).

The Santos Women’s Tour cycling race was held for the first time this year in conjunction with the Tour Down Under.

In September, the Union Cycliste Internationale – the sport’s world governing body – confirmed the 2016 event would be given international status.

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