Janette ‘Jan’ Brittin, who remains the highest run-getter as well as the scorer of the most centuries in women’s Test cricket, passed away on Tuesday (September 12) after a battle with cancer. She was 58.
In a career spanning 19 years from 1979 to 1998, the former England cricketer scored 1935 runs in 27 Tests and 2121 runs from 63 One-Day Internationals, with five centuries in each format. She also top-scored with 48 in England’s 1993 Women’s World Cup final win over New Zealand at Lord’s, and took the winning catch.
Brittin’s club Surrey flew their flag at The Oval at half-mast during their County Championship fixture against Yorkshire as a mark of respect for their legendary cricketer.
“JB was such an inspiration to me and many others growing up who were able to watch or play with one of the greatest female cricketers of all time,” said Ebony Rainford-Brent, Surrey’s director of women’s cricket, in a statement.
“As a character she was fun, engaging and always generous in her knowledge, particularly when she gave back as a coach later in her career. Her records speak for themselves the class of player she was and will stand the test of time.”
Clare Connor, the former England captain and the England and Wales Cricket Board’s director of women’s cricket, paid a rich tribute to Brittin too, saying, “JB was one of the most quiet and unassuming cricketers you could meet, but she was pure class.
“An outstanding cricketer and a truly lovely person. In a year when England have again won the World Cup at Lord’s, we should not forget the huge contribution JB made to the development and success of women’s cricket in this country. For girls of my generation she was our first real female role model. She batted with grace and timing – a classical opener, so beautiful to watch. She was also a brilliantly athletic cover fielder.”