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)

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

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Australia Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs England Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Phil Hughes injury: A cruel example of game’s risks

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Allan Border, Ian Healy feel 1st Test at Brisbane should go ahead

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: England lack killer instinct, feels Alastair Cook

Jacques Kallis to make his debut as caddy

Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara’s efforts go in vain as Sri Lanka trump England by 25 runs in 1st ODI

Moeen Ali becomes third fastest centurion for England in ODIs

Ishant Sharma — Is his current ODI form good enough to earn him a place in ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The birth of Day Night cricket matches

Phillip Hughes head injury: Are helmets making batsmen complacent?

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here