Published: 12th September, 2017
Surrey CCC is deeply saddened to announce the death of Janette ‘Jan’ Brittin – one of the trailblazers for women’s cricket in Surrey and England – who has passed away aged 58.
A veteran of 27 Test Matches and 63 One Day Internationals Jan, known universally as JB, is Surrey’s all-time leading female batsman and played a vital role in developing women’s cricket in the county.
The club will pay tribute by flying the Surrey flag at half mast during the ongoing match between Surrey and Yorkshire.
She remains the leading female Test Match run scorer and century maker of all time, with five centuries and 1,935 runs and was part of England’s World Cup winning team of 1993.
Brittin started her 19-year international career in 1979 and played until 1998, spanning the period between the game’s original iteration and the start of its modern developments.
Her first Test Match was alongside the pioneering Rachael Heyhoe-Flint whilst team mates in her final Test included future England greats Charlotte Edwards, Claire Taylor and Clare Connor, who is now the Director of England Women’s Cricket.
She played in both women’s Test Matches staged at Guildford CC in 1996, opening the batting alongside Edwards and scoring a memorable 146 against Australia.
Surrey CCC Director of Women’s Cricket Ebony Rainford-Brent said: “Today is a such a sad day for the cricket community hearing the news of Jan Brittin’s passing.
“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. 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.
“She will be sorely missed by the Surrey community, and we as a county are sending out our condolences to her loved ones and family.”
Clare Connor, Director of England Women’s Cricket, added: “JB was 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.
“JB was born to play Test cricket and it’s unlikely that her record in this format will ever be beaten. She also had a fine record in the one-day game, and of course she made that significant contribution to England’s World Cup win at Lord’s in 1993.
“JB played for England for two decades at a time when the women’s game was totally amateur. Despite being a conventional batsman, in personality she was quirky and unconventional. I was in awe of her when I came into the England set-up as an 18 year old. She was a legend, a class apart. And so, more than anyone else, the coaches included, I craved her respect and for her to think I could play.
“JB will be remembered so fondly by the women’s cricket fraternity as well as by her numerous friends in the golfing world. She was a wonderful golfer as I found out when I was lucky enough to play a round with her in Calcutta on my first England tour, aged just 19. I remember feeling star-struck. The irony is not lost on me now, for nobody could have played international sport with more modesty than JB.
“On behalf of the ECB and the England women’s team, I would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Jan’s family and friends.”