Lady makes cricketing history

Janet King-the first lady President of Bassetlaw  and District Cricket League in its 109 year history
Janet King-the first lady President of Bassetlaw and District Cricket League in its 109 year history

Cricket has been a part of Janet King’s life ever since the day that she met her future husband.

She was just 16 when she met Martin at a cricket match in Bradford.

Fifty years later she has made history by becoming the first lady president of Bassetlaw and District Cricket League in its 109-year history.

It is an honour which came as a complete surprise to Janet.

She said: “We were on holiday when they rang up and I thought they wanted Martin, but they said no it was me they wanted.”

“I was really shocked. I had never even thought about it because it’s always been a man. It’s very nice and a great honour.”

Janet, 66, of High Street, South Anston, will hold the office for a year and will be visiting all 54 clubs in the league in that time.

She said: “I’ll be going to three or four every Saturday.”

“On one day I went to Woodsetts, Harthill, Todwick and Thurcroft, and at every one of those grounds there were men playing that I had seen as little boys at Anston cricket club, it was lovely.”

Anston is Janet’s cricketing home. It’s the club Martin used to play for and where she has been secretary twice over the years.

She has been involved in getting it club mark accredited by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), which means they can coach young children from the age of five.

“We have child welfare officers and proper training that meets the requirement of the ECB, and every three years we have to be re-accredited,” she said.

Janet has also been heavily involved with fundraising for the club.

She has played in friendly matches, but has never taken up ladies’ cricket, preferring to help behind the scenes.

Other members of her family however have been keen to pick up a bat.

Her 40-year-old son Matthew plays at Doncaster and her son-in-law John Lyne plays for Anston, along with grandson Jacob Lyne, five.

“He’s going to get his first bat soon,” said Janet.

History repeated itself when her daughter Vicky met John at a cricket match, just like her mum and dad had done all those years before.

“There’s a real social aspect to cricket, it’s something the whole family can be involved in,” said Janet.

She is keen to bring a woman’s touch to her new presidential role and has been instrumental in helping to set up a welfare fund to help any families in difficulties.

“I went to a coffee morning at Bilsthorpe cricket club and got talking to two ladies, and it turned out one of them has inoperable cancer, so we are fundraising to send the whole family on holiday,” she said.

“There’s also a man in his 50s who got an infection and had to have both legs amputated so we’re hoping to have a benefit match for him.”

Bassetlaw and District Cricket League secretary Gary France praised Janet.

“She is very reliable, trustworthy and competent. She has been a big asset since she started,” he said.