Women’s cricket is blessed with the number of exceptional talents flying through the ranks at the moment.
Many have already been known on the biggest stage for a few years, whilst others showcased their ability to a wider audience for the first time at the recent T20 World Cup.
Here is our list of the top five players who we expect to set the world alight for years to come…
5. Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa- age 20)
Originally an opening batter, Wolvaardt was named in the ICC team of the tournament for the World T20 last month, after impressing in the middle order. Despite just two knocks, the 20 year old failed to be dismissed and finished with 94 runs including one half-century. In truth however, despite still being under 21, Wolvaardt has impressed for a number of years. She made her ODI debut against England aged just 16 and became the youngest centurion in South African history, male or female, aged 17 when she stuck 105 against Ireland. Having played 50 ODI’s already, Wolvaardt has made 16 half-centuries and two hundreds at an average of over 45, and looks destined for greatness if she continues to score at this rate in the future.
4. Sarah Glenn (England- age 20)
A naturally gifted sportsperson, Glenn could have represented her country at hockey after representing England at junior level, but eventually committed to cricket. Relatively unknown across the cricketing world prior to the T20 World Cup, Glenn was brought into the England side at the end of 2019 by head-coach Lisa Keightley, who is renowned for developing young talent. A leg-spinner with outstanding control and variation, Glenn was somewhat overshadowed by Poonam Yadav in Australia, but nonetheless took six wickets in four matches. With the absence of many leg-spinners on the women’s cricket circuit at the moment, Glenn will already be feared by many and could no doubt replicate the success of Yadav in years to come.
3. Sophie Ecclestone (England- age 20)
England’s other spinner, Sophie Ecclestone is also just 20 years of age, but has been round the England set-up far longer than her new partner in crime. Having made her debut against Pakistan in 2016, Ecclestone has played for England in all three formats and after a stellar T20 World Cup, is now ranked number one in the ICC T20 bowling rankings. Named as the emerging player of the year in 2018, Ecclestone has now claimed 100 wickets in international cricket. Together with Glenn, England need not think about other spin options, as these two will be around for some time.
2. Amelia Kerr (New Zealand-age 19)
Still only 19, Amelia Kerr made her professional cricket debut over half a decade ago, aged just 14. A right arm leg-spinner who can bat as well, Kerr already boasts a plethora of extraordinary records, including being the first player, male or female to score a century at the Basin Reserve in Wellington. She is the youngest player to ever feature in a World Cup for New Zealand, when she played in 2017, but perhaps most impressively, Kerr has the highest recorded score of any female player ever in ODI’s, scoring 232 not out against Ireland in 2018. This made her the youngest double-centurion in international cricket. The most staggering thing about that particular match however, was that Kerr also claimed five wickets, emphasising her claim as a genuine all-rounder. At the recent T20 World-Cup, Kerr almost inspired New Zealand to a historic win against Australia, but came up just short. Kerr will have plenty of opportunities to avenge this loss however and is only likely to keep improving.
1. Shafali Verma (India- age 16)
Verma stole headlines and won fans’ hearts at the T20 World Cup as she dazzled at the top of the order as India made it all the way to the final. Aged just 16, she is arguably the most powerful hitter in the modern game at the moment and scored the most sixes with nine in total at the recent World Cup. She is the youngest woman to score an international half-century for India, and her recent performances have deservedly landed her a central contract. Whilst Verma is still yet to make her ODI and Test debuts, both are surely just round the corner.
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