Sunday, June 23, 2024

Oldest international cricketer: England-born grandmother breaks record after T20 debut for Gibraltar

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A grandmother of three plans to “play as long as possible” after recently becoming the oldest ever international cricketer.

Wicketkeeper Sally Barton made her debut in Gibraltar’s second T20 international against Estonia, external at the age of 66 and 334 days.

“The words ‘too old’ just aren’t in my vocabulary,” Barton told BBC Sport.

“I never thought I would play international cricket in my sixties, but it goes to show that you should not let anyone tell you it is time to stop playing sport.”

Barton eclipsed the previous record for an International Cricket Council (ICC) sanctioned match which was held by Portugal’s Akbar Saiyad.

Mozambique-born Saiyad was 66 years and 12 days when he played a T20 for the Portuguese against Finland in 2012.

The three-match series between ICC Associate members Gibraltar and Estonia – won 3-0 by the former – was the first time the British Overseas Territory had played a women’s T20 international.

Barton is nearly three decades older than Gibraltar’s next most senior player with some members of the team still teenagers.

“We play on an artificial pitch in Gibraltar so the bounce can make wicketkeeping tricky at times, but I’ve developed my unique style,” she said.

“I might not be as fast as I used to be, but my endurance and everything is still there. My overriding memory of my debut, though, is the efforts of my team-mates to get that win.”

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