She may not have been playing, but Ellyse Perry still found a way to inspire Australia to victory in the T20 World Cup.
Perry is universally regarded as the best player in World Cricket and arguably has a case to be considered the best ever. Whilst she was expected to be Australia’s most valuable player at the recent T20 World Cup, injury ruled her out of the knockout stages of the competition.
Despite being forced to watch from the sidelines, Perry’s choice words in a team batting meeting, seemingly resonated with the players on the field. With Australia struggling for batting form in their opening two encounters, which included defeat to India and a narrow win over Sri Lanka, Matthew Mott, head coach of Australia, revealed to ESPNCricinfo how Perry galvanised the team.
“She said, ‘to be honest, we just need to make sure we’ve got soul in this group, and we look out for each other, be a little bit more overt with our body language and maybe the odd fist-bump and something like that when someone has hit a good boundary’.”
The words definitely hit home amongst the squad, as Australia went on a roll to win their next four games and clinch back-to-back T20 titles. Beth Mooney and Alyssa Healy added 151 for the first wicket against Bangladesh, whilst the pair also stole the show in the final. Mooney was named player of the tournament, as she hit 259 runs from 6 innings at an average of 64.75.
Whilst Mooney deservedly received all the plaudits, it’s clear that Ellyse Perry is an irreplaceable figure in this Australian team, on or off the field.
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