Home > Features > Moments in history >

Janette Brittin: Highest run scorer in women’s Tests who went on to play indoor hockey for England

image_20130704094608

Jan Brittin bats against Australia in the second one-dayer at Derby in 1998 © Getty Images

Janette Brittin, born on July 4, 1959, was one of England’s premier batswomen. She still holds the record of highest number of Test centuries. In her 19-year-old career between 1979 and 1998 she made 90 appearances for England, playing 27 Tests and 63 One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Sudatta Mukherjee looks back at the career of women’s cricket’s highest Test run-getter.

Janette Brittin’s story is about Britain’s most celebrated lady cricketer who carved a niche for herself, courtesy of her batting skills and longevity. Brittin featured in four Women’s World Cups — 1982 New Zealand, 1988 Australia, 1993 England and 1997 India. At the time of her retirement, she was one of only three players to have achieved the feat, the others being New Zealand’s Debbie Hockley and Sharon Tredreg of Australia.

Of the five centuries she scored in One-Day Internationals (ODIs), four were scored in the World Cup — talk of big stage temperament! Her ODI average of 42.42 is the 11th highest for players who have played minimum of 20 innings. However, from the four World Cups she featured in, it was in 1993 that she guided the England team to World Cup win, that too at the Mecca of cricket , Lord’s, where earlier women were not allowed even in the pavilion or were allowed to be members of the Marylebone Cricket Club.

Brittin remembers, “Never before have I gone out… with tears in my eyes, caused by the wonderful ovation from the members who lined our path through the Long Room, followed by the crowd’s reception as we walked out to the middle,” she was quoted saying in ESPNcricinfo. She became the first woman to score 1000 World Cup runs. She finished with a World Cup tally of 1,299 with an average of 43.3 including four centuries and three 50s. She was also the top run-getter in the 1982 and 1993 editions. Her catch in 1993 to dismiss New Zealand’s Catherine Campbell in the final helped  England lifted the World Cup at Lord’s.

The five hundreds in ODI once were the most in women’s ODI history. Moreover, Brittin scored her five centuries from 63 matches, whereas Claire Taylor, Karen Rolton and Charlotte Edwards have played 126, 141 and 168 ODIs respectively for their eight hundreds. Belinda Clarke has played in 118 ODIs for her five centuries.

image_20130704094652

Jan Brittin raises her bat in acknowledgment for her century in the World Cup match against Pakistan at the Hyderabad’s Fateh Maidan in December 1997 © Getty Images.

Brittin is the only women cricketer to have scored more than 500 Test runs in a calendar year. In 1984, her 531 Test runs came from five matches at an average of 75.85. In her final year at the international level in 1998, she scored 450 Test runs at a whopping average of 112.50. It also included back-to-back centuries against Australia: 146 at Guildford and 167 at Harrogate. The only other person to score back-to-back centuries was England’s Enid Bakewell. In the same series against Australia, Brittin became one of the three batswoman to score a century and a fifty in Test cricket.

While penning down an article on the 1997 World Cup in India, which was her last World Cup appearance, Brittin wrote, “We’d have had Australia in the final [1988-89], and it would have been a chance to avenge our only defeat in our group matches. I’m 37 now and my reaction was: ‘That’s it, time to retire.’ My family would be disappointed because I’m quite close to a few records — like Rachael Heyhoe Flint’s for highest run aggregate for England. But it’s been a good innings and I’m not sure I want to keep going through the summer. I’ll have to think about it some more.”

Seven months later, she played her last ODI match and in August 1998 and her last Test too. Even in her last ODI match, she score an unbeaten 46, even though England lost by eight wickets. She has played with a young 18-year-old torch-bearer of English cricket Charlotte Edwards who is current captain of the national team.

Brittin is England’s highest run scorer (4,056 – 1,935 in Tests and 2,121 in ODIs), England’s most capped Test player (27) and the world’s second most capped player behind New Zealand’s Debbie Hockley. Her five centuries in Test are the most in women’s Test cricket history.

Brittin made her debut for Surrey in 1976 and donned England colours three years later in the first Test against the West Indies. She also played indoor cricket and indoor hockey for England.

(Sudatta Mukherjee is a reporter with CricketCountry. Other than writing on cricket, she spends penning random thoughts on her blog and produces weekly posts on new food joints at Whopping Weekends. She played table tennis for University of Calcutta. When she is not writing, you will catch her at a movie theatre or watching an English serial on her laptop. Her Twitter ID is @blackrosegal)

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Heroes of India's Test wins in England

Videos

Rahul Dravid reflects on India's historic win at Lord's

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: England must persist with Ben Stokes despite poor form

Afghanistan’s recent victories over Zimbabwe are encouraging for their build-up to ICC World Cup 2015

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Should Ravichandran Ashwin get a look-in?

Physically challenged cricketers aim to bring glory to India

India tour of England 2014: Mohammed Shami has impressed in patches but wickets elude him

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 South Africa vs Sri Lanka South Africa vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Jos Buttler determined to play aggressive cricket

Pakistan Cricket Board contemplating on inviting foreign curators

Railway Protection Force name two puppies after Ishant Shama and Lord’s

South Africa recover from early jolts to reach 98/3 against Sri Lanka at stumps on Day 2

Imran Khan faces Rs 20 billion libel notice

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: England must persist with Ben Stokes despite poor form

Misbah-ul-Haq’s hitch at the helm

Growing Up in the 1990s: Cricket

Afghanistan’s recent victories over Zimbabwe are encouraging for their build-up to ICC World Cup 2015

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Should Ravichandran Ashwin get a look-in?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Consumer Affairs Min may frame norms for online shopping

Telecom equipment imports up at Rs 74,116 crore

Pakistan Cricket Board contemplating on inviting foreign curators

Thirumanam Enum Nikkah starts slow at box office!

Rajat Tokas and Paridhi Sharma’s Jodha Akbar to take a leap

7 reasons you need to put broccoli on your plate

Congress party denied Leader of Opposition status in Parliament by Attorney General

India vs England 3rd Test at Southampton: Jos Buttler determined to play aggressive cricket

Wikipedia blocks `disruptive` edits from US Congress

Beware! Drinking on your birthday might land you in the hospital

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here