Robyn LeCornu aiming for 60 years of cricket

1 February, 2018

Fifty-seven years of cricket and counting.

Meet Robyn LeCornu. The 68-year-old grandmother of two is currently embarking upon her 57th consecutive year of cricket.

“I’m aiming for 60 years of continuous cricket,” she said.

“I can still run and to me age is just a number. The wonderful thing is I can still play and I’m able.”

LeCornu’s story begins as an eight-year-old, first introduced to cricket playing with friends. Since then, she’s gone on to achieve enormous heights through South Australian grade cricket, also representing her state.

After only retiring from grade cricket last year, labelling herself as the “oldest by far”, the pensioner still plays competitive pink ball cricket on Monday nights.

“I just enjoy it. I have a great time. I don’t have to prove anything.

"I open the batting and just play to the best of my ability."

LeCornu’s statistics at her age, let alone at any, are impressive.

Fifty-five years older than her next most senior teammate, the opening batter averages a staggering 138.44 with the Eyre Royals in the Para Districts Associations.

“I’ve played 50 games and made 1,119 runs (with the Eyre Royals). You have to retire at 30 and then go back in at the end of the innings.

“I’ve got an average of 138.44. That’s in the last 50 games in the B Grade women’s competition.

“I really couldn’t say how many wickets I’ve taken. It would be a lot of runs and a lot of wickets.”

A meteoric rise through her teenage years and early twenties saw LeCornu dominate grade cricket, eventually rewarded by a call up to the South Australian state team.

Touted as potential Australian international following a promising start to her first-class career, LeCornu was unfortunately forced into a premature retirement.

“If I hadn’t of retired at 23, my coach said I might have played for Australia, but that’s something you’ll never know. You have to make decisions in your life.

“Where I worked, I had to use my holidays for my cricketing time and my mum was a widow. We had to pay our own way and it got to the stage where I wanted a holiday.

"It was either give up the state team or have a holiday and that’s what I did.”

LeCornu, back row third from the left

Fortunately, still early into her career, LeCornu returned to grade cricket.

Among her achievements on the field, LeCornu assumed responsibilities as coach for a female only team, Prospect Women’s Cricket Club.

"A lot of them were young girls who wanted to play cricket. I was approached by someone who asked me if I could coach a girls cricket team for Prospect because he said I’d be one of the few people who could get it up and running – and I did."

After a difficult first year, LeCornu guided Prospect to an undefeated season, developing a number of young female cricketers along the way.

"The first year was a bit of a struggle, but the second year we went through undefeated in the Twenty20 competition and one day games.

"I got them from Scorpion Shield which is like average grade of cricket up to the women’s level, and they were all young – year sevens.

LeCornu enjoyed a couple of stints at Prospect Hill, also taking on duties as Women’s Coordinator.

Her role with Prospect Hill went a long way towards winning South Australian Volunteer of the Year in 2011.

“I was lucky enough to win the KPGM South Australian Volunteer of the Year.

“I won that which started off the event at the beginning of the night, when they do the legends and hall of fame ceremony in Adelaide.”

LeCornu, second from the left at the 2011 Sport SA awards

Now approaching her sixth decade of cricket, a question she is regularly asked - how do you do it?

"Well I’ve had no injuries, nothing really. I don’t smoke and I don’t drink. I’m also not a fitness fanatic.

"When we first started playing cricket we had one training session a week and then we’d play. I think today, I see a lot of injuries are due to over training.

What next for LeCornu? Just a month shy of her 69th birthday, the mother of two shows no signs of slowing down. And he statistics back that up.

Her top score is 147 with too many milestones to count. With the ball, her best bowling figures come in at 5/5.

When we spoke to Robyn, she had just come off the back of an unbeaten 68, taking 3/3 off 1.2 overs.

“I can still run and I think it’s in your mind how you look at age, to me age is just a number.

"I’ve played all my life because my heart's in it and I love it."

© Australian Cricket Players Limited
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
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