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Louise Zedda-Sampson is a Melbourne-based writer, researcher and award-nominated editor who has a passion for bringing interesting things to light. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, magazines and anthologies and she has also co-edited two anthologies. Her first book Bowl the Maidens Over, a history of the first games of women’s cricket in Australia, is due to be released in June 2021. You can find out more about Louise at and connect with her on Twitter @I_say_meow

In 1874, John Rae, a Bendigo schoolmaster, approached the Sandhurst Easter Fair Committee with an idea to draw the crowds: a novelty ladies’ cricket match – something Australia had never seen before.
And here begins the story of women’s cricket in Australia. Bowl the Maidens Over presents the factual account of the very first women’s matches from the selection of uniforms, to mentoring by the prestigious Bendigo United Cricket Club, to their ceremonial arrival at the Easter Fair to the during- and post-match critiques. The story is told through the media’s lens and provides insights into the tumultuous road the cricketers travelled, just in order to play.

Foreword by Dr Megan Ponsford.

Bowl the Maidens Over: Our First Women Cricketers
Hardcover, illustrated 100-pages
Publisher: LZS Press
Publication date: 25 June 2021
ISBN: 978-0-6451255-0-4
Price: $29.95
Available in hardcover 

Where to buy: online retailers or direct from

Praise from Gideon Haigh (Australian, 29 May 2021):
‘This fascinating game in Bendigo has never been properly narrated – until now, in a delightful little book, Bowl the Maidens Over by Louise Zedda-Sampson.’