Tuesday, April 16, 2024

SACA: Jill Kennare inducted into the SA Sport Hall of Fame

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Photo Credit: South Australian Cricket Association

South Australian cricketing champion Jill Kennare adds another accolade to a stunning career this week as she is inducted into the South Australian Sport Hall of Fame on Friday.

Taking her place in the Hall beside fellow greats Karen Rolton and Lyn Fullston, Kennare earned admission through prolific performances for South Australia and Australia, not only in cricket, but also lacrosse.

Recently named in SACA’s All Time Best Women’s Team, Kennare is also an Honorary Life Member at Lords, and with her induction into the South Australian Sports Hall of Fame, her incredible legacy as a pioneer is enshrined in history, a fitting reward for a lifetime of achievement and dedication.

Born in 1956 in Karoonda, a country town 60km northeast of Murray Bridge recently boasting a population of 337, Kennare was introduced to cricket by a friend in 1975 and made her South Australian Juniors debut later that same year.

A true trailblazer, the right-handed batter made an immediate impact, scoring 153 against NSW in the Juniors Championships in 1976, a feat that remained unsurpassed until Rolton bettered it 17 years later.

In a career spanning 12 seasons, Kennare represented South Australia with pride, scoring 2,968 runs, registering seven centuries and 14 half-centuries highlighted by a highest score of 131. An attacking, exciting batter, Kennare was South Australia’s leading run-scorer in 1977-78, 1978-79, 1981-82, 1983-84 and 1986-87.

It was only a matter of time before the national side came calling, and when they did, Kennare took her game to another level again, become the era’s leading batter.

Her record in 12 Tests from 1979 to 1985 was 702 runs at 36.94, at the time the third most Test runs scored by any Australian woman in the 51 years of Women’s’ Test cricket. When added to 789 runs at 46.41 in One Day Internationals, her 1491 runs in International cricket was an Australian record.

As well as captaining Australia on four occasions, Kennare was a vital member of the 1981-82 World Cup winning team, the first Australian to score consecutive ODI centuries, one of only two women to make a trio of Test centuries for Australia and in a career highlight, scored centuries in the first and fifth Tests of the 1984-85 Jubilee series against England.

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