Raksha Bandhan Special: Brothers and sisters in cricket
(From top clockwise) Ed and Isobel Joyce, Annette and Gordon Drummond, Peter and Sara McGlashan. Photo Courtesy: Cricket Ireland and Facebook.

Cricketing families (the Graces, the Gregorys, and the Mohammads, to cite a few examples) have been common throughout the history of the sport. While fathers and sons or brothers are common phenomenon, brothers and sisters are not that common an occurrence. Abhishek Mukherjee selects five.

It is somewhat mysterious that despite numerous examples of multiple brothers or multiple sisters representing their countries in cricket, few brother-sister combinations have done the same.

Here is a list of five to have done the same.

1. Terry and Denise Alderman

Terry Alderman could well have been called the Smiling Assassin. With a deceptive smirk lingering to his face he often ran through sides with ridiculous ease, and ended up being the only bowler to take 40 wickets in a series twice. Denise, four years younger, was a specialist batsman who finished with an average of 41.27 from 7 Women’s Tests. Denise later married Test umpire Ross Emerson.

The Aldermans (Aldermen?) created a record on February 3, 1985. While Terry played an OD) at WACA against Sri Lanka (he dismissed Marlon Vonhagt and did not bat), Denise played England Women at Aberfeldie Ground, Melbourne; she scored a steady 56 not out. They became the first brother and sister to play international cricket on the same day.

2. Peter and Sara McGlashan

Grandchildren of the Central Districts wicketkeeper Robin Schofield, the McGlashan’s both played for New Zealand. While Peter’s exploits remained confined to the shorter formats, Sara has played 2 Women’s Tests against India Women and England Women.

3. Gordon and Annette Drummond

One of the most successful Scottish cricketers (he had also led Scotland), Gordon Drummond has earned a reputation for being a hard-hitting lower-order batsman and a medium-fast bowler with 47 international appearances till date. His sister Annette, albeit not as big a name in Scottish cricket, has represented her country 7 times nevertheless.

4. Ed, Dom, Cecelia, and Isobel Joyce

Gus Joyce, oldest of the five, had played for Ireland in 2000, but unfortunately Ireland had not attained international status back then. With migration between England and Ireland getting easy, Ed made his debut for England against Ireland and later scored a hundred against Australia. He later moved back to Ireland and scored another hundred, this time against Pakistan.

Dom has had a relatively less distinguished career (to make things confusing, however, he made his debut for Ireland in the same match where Ed made his debut for England), but the twins, Cecelia and Isobel, have been Irish mainstays. With Ireland Women getting Test status, Isobel is the only one in the family to represent her country in Tests; she had routed Pakistan Women at Dublin in 2000 with 6 for 21 (she did not get a bowl in the first innings, and neither did she bat).

Oh, and their mother Maureen has been a scorer in 2 Women’s ODIs.

5. Nathan and Lisa Astle

Nathan Astle was one of New Zealand’s finest batsmen (and perhaps the most destructive New Zealand batsman of his era), but his sister Lisa had the most low-key international appearance ever. Her only appearance was against Denmark Women in Women’s World Cup 1993. Playing at Crowthorne Lisa did not bowl as the Danish were skittled for 93, and waited in the pavilion watching her teammates clinch a 9-wicket victory.

Special mention:

Lameck Onyango, Mary Bele, Margaret Banja, Nehemiah Odhiambo, James Ngoche, and Shem Ngoche

Easily the most prolific brother-sister combination, the Kenyan siblings have a gap of 15 years and share five surnames between them. The latter can be explained by the fact that the brothers are called Lameck Onyango Ngoche, Nehemiah Ngoche Odhiambo, James Otieno Ngoche, and Shem Obado Ngoche; exactly why Onyango and Odhiambo have preferred not to use Ngoche in their names remains elusive.

Unfortunately, though the sisters (who do not have Ngoche in their names) have both played for Kenya Women, the matches do not count as Women’s ODIs or Women’s T20Is as Kenya Women have not attained international status, but as a family they certainly deserve a special mention.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)