Home > Features > Moments in history >

Elizabeth and Rosemary Signal: The first twins to play Test cricket together

The 1984 tour to England that the Signal twins were part of. Photo Courtesy:
The 1984 tour to England that the Signal twins were part of. Photo Courtesy: SportsPages memorabilia

Elizabeth and Rosemary Signal were born on May 4, 1962. Abhishek Mukherjee looks at the first twins to play Test cricket together.

No, the Waughs were not the first twins to play Tests. Like many other feats, that one belongs to the fairer sex as well. The Signal twins, Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Ann and Rosemary ‘Rose’ Jill, had achieved that at Headingley in 1984, beating the Waughs to the mark by quite a few years.

Born at Feilding, Manawatu, Rose made her debut first in what is now classified as a Women’s Miscellaneous Match for Central Districts Women against Canterbury Women at Christchurch, scoring 94 not out in the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield match; Liz followed suit two days later with a ten against Auckland Women.

Both were competent all-rounders, though numbers suggest Rose was significantly better of the two. She bowled fast, while Liz was restricted to a fast-medium pace. Both, however, played with distinction for the New Zealand Under-25s Women, and made it to the England tour of 1984.

The record

Rose and Liz both played in the Women’s One-Day Internationals (ODIs), but not together. While Rose played the first Women’s ODI at Hastings, Liz played the other two at Grace Road and Bristol. None of them, however, had much to write home about.

As mentioned above, the Signals became the first twins to play Test cricket. They made their debut against England Women at Headingley. Debbie Hockley decided to bat, and New Zealand Women reached 147 for seven at stumps on Day One; Debbie declared overnight. While Rose had fallen for a duck, Liz did not get a chance to bat.

England Women responded emphatically. Janette Brittin’s 144 not out took them to 256 for five when Jan Southgate (later Allen) declared; the twins went wicket-less, though Liz managed two catches. New Zealand Women saved the match, finishing on 194 for eight with Rose remaining unbeaten on eight and Liz scoring a solitary run.

Rose never played another Test, but Liz was retained for the rest of the series. She scored an unbeaten 55 in the second Test at New Road and taking two quick wickets in the third at Canterbury.

The sisters played together again at Haarlem when the team had a stopover at Netherlands. In the process they became the first twins to play ODIs as well. The twins did not do much with the bat, but picked up a wicket apiece as Netherlands Women were defeated by 67 runs.

Later days

The twins toured India that winter for a series of three Tests. Liz opened bowling in each innings and picked up three wickets in the first Test at Ahmedabad, but did little else of note throughout the drawn series. India Women came back from 1-2 to claim the Women’s ODI series 3-2. Once again the twins did not do much in the series.

Rose never played any recorded form of the sport again. She got married, and changed her name to Rosemary James. Liz played in the Shell Rose Bowl against Australia Women for three consecutive years, albeit without success of any kind. Liz hung up her boots after that as well.

Career Records  Women’s Tests Women’s ODIs
M R Ave W Ave C M R Ave W Ave C
Liz Signal 6 82 20.5 8 40.62 3 19 79 11.28 7 70.85 5
Rose Signal 1 8 8 0 5 6 12 6 2 44.5 2

Their numbers may not be the best, but the Signals hold a unique place in the annals of the sport.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs at http://ovshake.blogspot.in and can be followed on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ovshake42)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (08:50 IST)   at Sydney

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 20, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled(Match rescheduled to 21/11/2014)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 19, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Ross Taylor’s crucial knock will boost New Zealand’s sub-par subcontinent record

Stuart Binny — can the all-rounder be a trump card for India in ODIs?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014

Assad Fudadin replaces Darren Bravo in West Indies Test squad for South Africa tour

George Bailey does not expect Test recall for series against India

Kumar Sangakkara asked to review retirement plans: Reports

Brian Lara: West Indies have to handle issues well

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Brendon McCullum happy with his team’s performance

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Highest chases against New Zealand in Test matches

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: Pakistan’s biggest fourth innings chases

PCB’s biggest challenge is to bring back international cricket to Pakistan: Subhan Ahmad

Tim Southee’s 50 Test sixes and related records

India vs Australia 2014: India may have heavy dose of pace in store in 1st Test

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here