A passion for sport is clearly what Enid Bakewell MBE felt when she found her vocation in cricket – a sport she still enjoys in her eighties. Enid had a highly remarkable career with major highlights including a 1973 World Cup win, and in 2012 was one of only three female cricketers to be included in the ICC Hall of Fame. The Nottinghamshire-born player achieved the impressive heights of world-class cricket, and certainly put women’s cricket in the spotlight to help promote the game to the levels of popularity it has today.
Enid Turton was born on 16 December 1940 in Newstead village, in Nottinghamshire, and was encouraged to play cricket from an early age. She attended Brincliffe County Grammar School, in Nottingham, and played for local team, Notts Casuals WCC, before joining the Nottinghamshire county women’s team at the age of 14. She graduated from Dartford College of Physical Education in 1959, married electrical engineer at Rolls-Royce, Colin Bakewell, and had a daughter, Lynne, in 1966.
Enid played in 12 Tests for England between 1968 and 1979, and in 23 one-day international matches. She was a right-handed batter and slow left-arm orthodox bowler, and was considered one of the best all-rounder players the English women’s game had ever witnessed. Enid joined the 1968-69 tour playing all three Tests against Australia and New Zealand. She is remembered for her outstanding play, and the century she scored in her debut when she opened the batting in the first Test against Australia in 1968. She continued her run of excellent play in 1969, scoring further centuries in the first and second Tests against New Zealand. She played Tests at home against Australia in 1973, and against the West Indies in 1979, and she also played in the 1973 and 1982 Women’s Cricket World Cups.
Women’s World Cup 1973
The 1973 tournament in England was the inaugural Women’s World Cup, and featured teams including Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. The tournament also had an International XI that was a ‘best of the rest’ team, including players not selected by their own countries from Australia, England, New Zealand, and the West Indies captained by English cricketer Audrey Disbury. Enid was part of the England side that won five matches out of six in a round robin league, with Australia as the runners-up. The final match was played at Edgbaston and where Enid scored her century with 118 runs against Australia. The competition cup was presented by Princess Anne and Enid was part of the winning England team at a special reception at 10 Downing Street.
Veteran play and accolades
Enid continued to play cricket for East Midlands and also Surrey in her 50s, and played for Nottinghamshire side, Caythorpe CC Women’s team in 2021. She was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame in 2012, becoming the third female cricketer to be included after English player Rachel Heyhoe-Flint and Australian cricketer Belinda Clarke. In 2014, Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack chose her as one of the five greatest female players of all time. Enid was awarded an MBE in the 2019 New Years Honours, and was presented the medal by Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace.
The future of women’s cricket
When presented with the MBE medal in 2019, Enid said: “Princess Anne gave us our World Cup winners' medals in 1973, after we beat the Aussies at Edgbaston, so I was over the moon that it was her again. She asked me about the women’s game, and was interested in how it was progressing with the England team winning the World Cup again a couple of years ago and new leagues cropping up all over the world. It means a lot to me that female cricketers are now being acknowledged like this, and by the ICC in their Hall of Fame.” In 2022, at the age of 82, Enid travelled across the world to Australia to play the game for the East Anglian Veteran Ladies.