Marg Jennings is the ninth player to captain Australia in Test cricket and the first to captain Australia to a World Cup victory. A wicket keeper and opening bat, Marg is also the first Australian captain to lead the team in a Test match against India.
Born on June 1st in Essendon, Marg worked her way through the grade cricket, displaying not only quality wicket keeping skills, but also becoming highly proficient with the bat, so much so that she was promoted to opening the batting for her club.
In 1970/71, Jennings debuted for Victoria in the national championships in Perth, under the captaincy of Miriam Knee. By 1971/72 the Test team had new wicket keeper in Marg Jennings when New Zealand toured Australia.
By the 1975/7 tour of the West Indies, the keeper had now been given her dream spot at the top of the order.
“I always opened for my club but when I first played for Australia I was told ‘they didn’t mind a WK who couldn’t bat’ so for me this was my challenge to work towards doing better up the order. I resolved to prove these people wrong.”
It was with the gloves that Marg starred on that tour. Keeping to the quality quicks of Anne Gordon, Sharon Tredrea, Raelee Thompson was one thing, but the real measure of a keeper is to the spinners and Aussie tweaker Marie Lutschini was one fabulous spinner. The first three wickets of the Test series at Montego Bay, stumped Jennings, bowled Lutschini. Six stumpings in the two Tests.
Modest returns in the Caribbean with the bat, but at Edgbaston in 1976, Marg broke through with a century, 104 out of a team total of 236, becoming the first Aussie keeper to score a ton. In 1976/7 Marg was promoted to the captaincy in a one off Test against India. In three days at Perth she guided the team to a 147 run victory over India. It would be her final Test match.
In 1978, Marg led the Australian team in the World Cup held in India. In what was effectively the final at Hyderabad, Marg was not out 57 as she guided Australia to its first ever World Cup victory. It’s a long way from Essendon to Montego Bay, Birmingham and Hyderabad. Marg did it allEmbed from Getty Images