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2017 Diary

A Ramble on Women's Cricket
 - with diversions -

This diary will be updated erratically throughout the year.

Previous Page  (World Cup 2017)

Jan Brittin Dies

It was with a very heavy heart that I heard of the death of Jan Brittin aged just 58.

[Jan Brittin  Don Miles

Just three years after watching my first women's cricket match I decided that a day at a Test Match starting at Guildford would re-introduce me to the sport. Little did I know that two of the people I would watch that day would be instrumental in my watching hundreds of matches thereafter. The World Cup Final of 1993 played at Lord's had whetted my appetite but it was this match that made me a convert.
Walking out to bat, following New Zealand's first innings of 362/5 declared went Jan Brittin ("JB") at left and a young Charlotte Edwards making her Test Match debut.

[Jan Brittin and Charlotte Edwards]  Carol Salmon

Jan Brittin and Charlotte Edwards open for England -- photo Carol Salmon
A rather younger me, complete with binoculars, at left, unaware the picture was being taken

Jan made a half century and Charlotte a creditable 34.
I was to watch Jan a number of times after that, both at club and international level. On the field she always seemed cool, composed, and thoughtful. She always acknowledged my presence on the boundary, and encouraged me to keep watching the sport. She was in a class of her own in both skill and courage.
Reading her stats, impressive as they are considering the very small number of games played in her era, will not give you a picture of JB. She was as elegant and complete a batsman as you will ever watch, and dogged in defence and unflappable in any situation. Her courage was limitless.
One of her fellow 1993 World Cup winners summed up JB more accurately and succinctly than I ever could.
"She was great as a player and as a person. So unassuming about her immense ability. [She was] intelligent and always supportive"
A former Indian captain : "I used to adore her... I had the good fortune of playing against her"
On Twitter:
Barbara Daniels "The best I ever played with or against, and a truly lovely person"
Anya Shrubsole "Someone whose skill and passion for the game inspired many including me"
Surrey Cricket, her county, have paid this tribute - and this from the ECB - from CricInfo - from The Guardian
For myself, it is hard to realise we will never meet on a boundary again. I owe her more than I was ever able to tell her.

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A Diversion

 

I have described this blog frequently as a "Ramble with Diversions" - and since we haven't had a diversion for a while, and to distract me from the awful news above this note - here is one.

 

On my way to Finals' Day at Hove a week or two ago I decide to park in a multi-storey nearby. That in itself was something of a diversion as by the time I reached the top open-air level it wasn't just my head that was spinning. Anyway I managed to locate a spot there and went to pay at the machine. In front of me a family with a couple of kids, and patently on their way to the match too, were struggling. I noted their western hemisphere accent and the Canadian flag on one of their number's clothing and they finally managed to pay. They paid using a credit card. Stepping up to the machine, coins in hand, I noted the LCD screen displaying the instructions. It was telling me what to do but not in English. Having passable, but very schoolboy French I recognised the language and figured what I was supposed to do. During the process, which included typing in my number plate, it continued in that language.

 

This rather intrigued me. I was left with a couple of possible scenarios and would be fascinated to know which might be true. If you can figure this out, please press the 'contact button' on the menu above left and let me know.

 

1. The machine has simply glitched.
2. The couple in front of me were French Canadian and the machine was clever enough to work this out from the credit card they inserted. If this was the case then that might be excellent technology except that it should also be bright enough to know that the next customer probably wouldn't be French or speak it as their main language. At the end of the transaction it should revert to English. Since I wasn't inserting a card, but paying in cash, it happily ploughed on in French.
3. An explanation I haven't thought of...

 

As I departed with my ticket I warned the people next in the queue and should have stopped to see how it went from there. I failed to do so, so the mystery remains.

 

Even telling this rather odd story, can't, I'm afraid, divert me from the news about 'JB'. In fact it reminds me that the last time I had a conversation with her was on the very level at the ground that I spent most of my time photographing on Finals' Day. Visiting Hove will never be quite the same again.

 

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