Jan Southgate is the ninth Test captain of England, captaining both Test and ODIs. The middle order batter began her career as a 14 year old.
As a fourteen year old Jan Allen played her first match for Surrey Junior Women in May 1970, and while she batted in that middle order spot that she eventually occupied for England, her key function was with the ball, right arm medium pace.
By 1974 Jan had graduated to the big league and two years later made her international debut, in the first Test that summer against the visiting Australians, at Old Trafford. A patient 32, batting with England captain Rachael Heyhoe Flint, a wicket in the second innings and four catches for the match, the youngster was showing that she belonged in this company.
In August of that year Jan made her ODI debut in the three match series against the Australians, the highlight of which was the second match, the first ever women’s match at Lords and the glory that went with England winning by eight wickets.
Playing two of the three home Tests against West Indies in 1979, the next time Jan would step up for England would be as captain. Due to tour the West Indies in 1983 but the tour was cancelled. In its place an ODI to be played between the two teams in New York which ended up being a 20 over match, perhaps the first ever T20.
The real deal for an England captain is an Ashes series and Jan Southgate was appointed captain – England’s ninth – for the 1984/5 jubilee Test series – a five Test series unlike any other and it went down to the wire. Many of those present still hail the series as the greatest ever. The high point being the miraculous victory at Adelaide on Christmas Eve.
Jan finished her career of 13 Test matches – 8 of which she was captain – with 490 runs and a high score of 74. In 17 ODIs 372 runs at 28.61.Embed from Getty Images