Ellyse Perry is Wisden’s Leading Women Cricketer of the Year for the second time
The pain of not playing in front of a packed audience at the 2020 Women’s World Cup final would have exceeded the physical anguish. Ellyse Perry was ruled out of the tournament after sustaining an injury in a Group game against New Zealand.
In April, the Number 1 all-rounder in ODIs and T20Is was named the Leading Women’s Cricketer for 2019 in the Wisden Almanack.
It’s been just six years since Wisden has been conferring the prestigious Leading Women’s Cricketer title in their almanack. Australian captain Meg Lanning won it first and New Zealand’s Suzie Bates has won it too. There has also been Indian dominance with Mithali Raj and Smriti Mandhana holding the title in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
First female cricketer to be honoured twice
Ellyse Perry has done it for the second time, having previously received the honour in 2016. She’s the first woman cricketer to achieve the double of Leading Cricketer of the Year and one of the five cricketers of the year in the same almanack. Perry holds her own despite being the only female in the five best cricketers of 2019 – also featuring Pat Cummins, Marnus Labuschagne, Jofra Archer and Essex off-spinner Simon Harmer.
In 2019, her performances and the statistics that backed it were breathtaking! She scored a century and 76 not-out in the only two Test innings she played against England. There were two more unbeaten centuries in the WODIs. In six T20Is, she averaged a whopping 150 with the bat. With the ball, she took 21 wickets in the one-dayers and a further 6 in the T20 internationals.
In a collection of outstanding showings, some moments simply stood out. A player of the match performance in the lone Ashes Test at Taunton in July 2019 was followed by an extraordinary 7-for in the third one-dayer at Canterbury. She ended the year with a record-breaking unbeaten opening partnership of 199 with Alyssa Healy, playing for Sydney Sixers in the WBBL.
During the course of the year, the New South Wales native became the first all-round cricketer (male or female) to take 100 wickets and score 1000 runs in T20 internationals.
Frankly, there weren’t many who could challenge Perry to the award. Former England captain Charlotte Edwards said Perry is, “the greatest female player we’re ever going to see.”
The possibility is high.