PIONEERS: Gympie women Cricketers Elaine Klee and Esme Kunst played in the first Gympie women's cricket competition in 1952.
PIONEERS: Gympie women Cricketers Elaine Klee and Esme Kunst played in the first Gympie women's cricket competition in 1952. Jacob Carson

Meet the Gympie women who brought cricket to town

CRICKET: As the Gympie Regional Cricket Association put plans in motion to establish a permanent women's competition in Gympie, two cricketing pioneers say the concept of women playing cricket in town is nothing new.

Esme Kunst and Elaine Klee played in Gympie's first all women competition and said player numbers were not a problem.

"We started in 1952, we sorted out all the girls and there was enough for five teams," Mrs Kunst said.

"All our husbands played.

"If it wasn't husbands it was boyfriends or brothers.

"We were tied up with the cricket.

"If we didn't score for them (the men), we were making their lunches so we decided we would play as well," she said.

Stretching over several summers, women's cricket thrived in the gold city with several players making Queensland representative sides.

Teams from Gympie would often travel to Brisbane to take on the city's best and both Mrs Klee and Mrs Kunst said the opportunity to play the sport broke down social barriers.

"Cricket was cricket in those days, it was the camaraderie " Mrs Kunst said.

"I think it is good for women to play the game and play it fair.

"We were fair dinkum, we played it by the rules fair and square," she said.

A strike bowler, Mrs Klee was one Gympie player who represented Queensland and said at the time a women's representative cricket side was groundbreaking.

"It (representing Queensland) was nice," Mrs Klee said.

"You could imagine going down there (Brisbane) against all those good bowlers.

"I can't understand why they didn't keep cricket on in Gympie," Mrs Klee said.

"We loved it."

Gympie Times


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