Kent Cricket is saddened to learn of the passing of Norma Izard OBE in December, aged 90.
Born in Beckenham, Norma was a pioneer who did so much to advance the women’s game. Her tireless efforts and enduring commitment over several decades helped lay the foundations for the future growth of the sport.
Like many other female cricketers of her era she trained as a PE teacher, at Dartford College. An all-round sportswoman, she played for Kent & Kent Nomads from the age of 17, and went on to play regularly for the County side and the East of England before pausing to raise a family.
After returning to playing (and teaching), she captained Kent Women’s Second XI, playing her final match in 1983 at the age of 50.
She then moved into cricket management as a junior organiser and selector before becoming President of the Women’s Cricket Association (WCA). Her involvement with the national team started with her appointment to the post of Manager of the first ever Junior England side in 1981.
She became the England Women’s Manager in 1984. She spent nine years with the team – her role often encompassing far more than just ‘Manager’ suggests – at a time in which the sport was very much amateur. There was no financial remuneration for the role and she worked full-time as a teacher until 1986.
Norma signed off as Manager in 1993 as England Women won the World Cup at Lord’s.