Born August 16th 1956 in Glenelg South Australia, former Australian Test and ODI captain, Jill Kennare was a dual international.
A strong offside player, there was a reason this right handed batsman avoided the leg side and as usual it started in the back yard.
“I became a very good offside player as the kitchen window was on the leg side, so that was avoided at all costs.”
At age 20 Jill blasted 153 against NSW for South Australia’s Under 21 team. It caught the eye of both state and national selectors as she debuted for SA and Australia in 1978/9.
Test and ODI Captaincy
Jill played three Tests that season and then was a drought of five years before Australia would play Test cricket again. In 1983/4, in the absence of Sharon Tredrea and Raelee Thompson, Jill was awarded with the Test and ODI captaincy for a tour to India. It would be the first Test series between the two nations. Apart from the captain, there were only three players with Test experience; Peta Verco, Jenny Jacobs and Karen Price. Four Tests, four draws. The Indian’s treated the Australians with extreme caution and were content to play for a draw.
“The most difficult aspects of getting a result were the 3 days allocated for a Test match and the Indians’ conservative approach where they were just as happy for a draw as they were for a win.”
One bright moment off the pitch was meeting a VIP and a keen advocate for women’s cricket.
“On Wednesday 18th January in Delhi we all rose very early and joined the public in meeting the Prime Minister, Indira Ghandi before breakfast. This was a real highlight of the trip for me and although we only saw her briefly, I still remember it clearly and how charismatic she was.”
Back in Australia with the full Test team available for the five Test Ashes series in 1984/5, the leadership duties back in the hands of Tredrea and Thompson, Jill scored a century in Perth, a pair in the disastrous Adelaide Test. A century in the pivotal fifth Test was a defining moment as Australia came from behind to win the series.
Jill played 12 Test matches scoring 702 runs at 36.94, with a high score of 131 – three centuries and two fifties. Nineteen ODIs with 789 runs at 46.41 with two centuries. While all of this is happening Jill managed to represent Australia in lacrosse.