Women’s Test matches are almost incomprehensibly rare – as evidenced by the fact that India are currently on a three-match winning streak which began in 2006. (The initial victory was followed by a bumper 2014 in which they played twice.)
England’s long format fixture list hasn’t generally been too congested either. Katherine Brunt – who has been playing international cricket since 2004 – has played all of 12 Tests.
Jan Brittin, who played for England, has the greatest number Test appearances to her name in women’s cricket. She turned out in 27 matches and had to play from 1979 to 1998 to achieve this. To provide some context, that’s the same number of Tests as Ben Hilfenhaus.
It’s also one fewer than Charles Bannerman.
Charles Bannerman is of course responsible for the greatest stat in cricket, having contributed the highest proportion of runs in a completed Test innings (67.35%) when he scored 165 not out in Australia’s 245 in the very first Test match. It’s such a famous statistic that it’s weirdly unnerving to think that in 1979 England’s Enid Bakewell made 68.29% of England’s total of 164 via an unbeaten 112.
Bakewell also took 10 for 75 in that game, as well as making 68 in the first innings – so, you know, pretty solid performance. It was her final Test. Anyone who aspires to ‘go out in style’ might as well accept that Enid ticked that one off pretty comprehensively so it’s probably not a thing worth striving for any more – you may as well just go out at a low ebb when you’re very much over the hill.
Anyway, back to the matter at hand, which is Test match No.141 between England and India. A final measure of the rarity of this event is that it has brought no fewer than six Test debuts – five for India, one for England.
Weird sort-of-related Bannermannish fact: Frank Woolley scored over 50% of England’s first innings runs in the 141st men’s Test match.