Born on 9th September 1963 in Lancaster, Lancashire, England, former New Zealand Test and ODI captain, Sarah Illingworth. Her parents made “the wise choice” (SI) to move to New Zealand at a young age, so England’s loss is New Zealand’s gain.
Sarah debuted for Canterbury in 1986/7 before making the jump to international level in 1988/9 straight into the World Cup, playing as a batter. By 1990/91 she takes the gloves for New Zealand and settles into a spot in the middle order in the batting line-up.
In 1993 Illingworth becomes the 7th ODI captain of New Zealand. In 29 matches, she led the Kiwis to 18 victories. In 37 matches for New Zealand, she took 27 catches and 21 stumpings – and she didn’t have the gloves for the first six of those games.
In a record that has stood since 1993, Sarah Illingworth has the most dismissals in a World Cup match: six – (jointly held with Venkatacher Kalpana from the same tournament.) That this record was achieved against the Aussies probably makes it even sweeter. In that same series she led the White Ferns to the World Cup final at Lords, falling at the last hurdle.
In 1994/5 she made her Test debut – as captain – becoming New Zealand’s 8th Test skipper. In six Tests as captain New Zealand suffered no losses. Her final Test as skipper, against England in 1996 and her final ODI, also in 1996, against the team she started against, Ireland.Embed from Getty Images