Diana Edulji inducted into ICC Hall of Fame

Diana Edulji: A true pioneer for India's female cricketers

ICC Hall of Fame

By Jonathan Healy

Hit For Six!

A trailblazer both on and off the field, Diana Edulji has been inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.

With a playing career that spanned over three different decades and produced many highlights as a player and captain of India, Edulji made a similar impact off the field in her role with the Western Railways.

Taking on the boys in Mumbai

Edulji was talented in many sports growing up, but enjoyed the challenge of taking on the boys in Badhwar Park, where her father, an officer in Western Railway, had been allotted quarters.

Cricket wasn't much of a thing for women in India when Edulji was young, but those games against the boys in Badhawar Park led her to join the Albies in 1971, the first club for female cricketers in Mumbai, named after founder Mrs Alu Bamjee.

The Women’s Cricket Association of India (WCAI) was formed later in 1974 and Edulji rose through the ranks and was a key member of India's first official Test match against the West Indies two years later in 1976.

Video ICC Hall of Fame 13 Nov 23
Diana Edulji: ICC Hall of Fame 2023 inductee
Diana Edulji: ICC Hall of Fame 2023 inductee

A pioneer on the field

India hosted the West Indies for a six-match Test series on home soil and Edulji's 17 wickets - the second most for any player - for the series saw the scoreline finish tied at 1-1 with four matches drawn.

By 1978 Edulji was captaining India and when she retired in the early 1990s she held the honour - and still does to this day - as having delivered the most deliveries by any woman in the history of Test cricket and only two woman have taken more wickets than her.

Edulji was also a standout at three ICC Women's Cricket World Cups for India, with the left-armer captaining her country at two of those events and finishing tied for third for most wickets (14) at her final edition in England in 1993.

Legacy lives on in India’s current squad

If Edulji's playing career was impressive, then her off-field exploits at least matched that as she claimed a host of awards and played a major role as an administrator.

In 1983 Edulji received India's then greatest sports honour award, the Arjuna Award and then in 2002 was awarded the civilian honour of Padma Shri.

Edulji thrived in her administrator role with Western Railways for much of this century, working hard for equal rights for India's female cricketers before retiring from the position at the start of 2016.

But her legacy continues to be apparent in women's cricket in India, with 12 players from their most recent ICC Women's Cricket World Cup squad having had an affiliation with the Railways and much of that is due in part to the work of Edulji.


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