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5 legends of Women's Cricket

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Women's_cricket_legendsWomen’s cricket has come a long way ever since the first Women’s Cricket World Cup in 1973. The game has made such great headway because several great cricketers have enriched it through the decades with their outstanding contributions to the sport.

Here we look at a few players who have left a significant imprint in the game and shall always be considered as legends in the annals of women’s cricket history.

Belinda Clark (Australia):

One of the most influential figures in Australian women cricket history, Belinda Clark was a captain who always led by example. Belinda made her debut in international cricket at the age of 23 and, over the following years, made impressive strides as a batter. She was made the captain of the Australian women’s ODI team which she led for a record 101 times. She also successfully led Australia to two ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup titles – in 1997 and 2005 – and has an impressive tally of 5,757 runs in international cricket. 

 

Belinda’s highest score in ODI cricket – 229* against Denmark in 1997 – was the first instance of any cricketer – male or female – scoring a double century in ODI cricket. Till date, no one else has managed to score a double century in women’s ODI cricket. Belinda Clarke has clearly created a legacy that will be hard to match.

 

Charlotte Edwards (England):

Formerly the highest run-scorer in women’s ODI cricket, Charlotte Edwards has been instrumental in the progression of the women’s game through her outstanding batting displays. Edwards made her international debut when she was just 16 years old and from then went on to master the ODI format, where she collected a massive 5,992 runs with 9 hundreds and 46 fifties. She is also the first cricketer in history, male or female, to score 2,500 runs in T20 internationals.

Apart from her humongous run-scoring abilities, Edwards was also a fine leader and led England to the ICC Women’s World Cup and World T20 double in 2009, along with successfully leading her team to four Ashes titles. Edwards had an illustrious career that spanned 20 years and included 10,273 career runs. She is only the second English women cricketer to be named Wisden Cricketer of the Year and her glittering achievements will serve as an inspiration to countless cricketers the world over.

Debbie Hockley (New Zealand):

The greatest stalwart of women cricket in New Zealand, Debbie Hockley was a terrific batter with 4,064 ODI runs in her name along with 4 hundreds and 34 fifties. She featured in 19 Tests for her country and slammed 4 centuries and 7 fifties in the format at an average of 52.04. 

Debbie made her debut in Test cricket in 1979 when she was just 15 years old and three years later she represented New Zealand in ODIs. At 21 years of age, Debbie became the captain of her country and then played a vital role in New Zealand’s progress in international women’s cricket. 

Debbie Hockley was the first ever women cricketer to make 100 ODI appearances and cross the 4000-run mark in the format. Her biggest triumph, though, was in the Women’s World Cup in 2000, where she played a significant part in helping New Zealand clinch their first ever World Cup title. 

Anjum Chopra (India):

Much like Debbie Hockley, India’s Anjum Chopra became the face of women’s cricket in her country and helped in the rise of the sport throughout her career. Making her international debut at just the age of 17, Anjum featured in 127 ODIs, 12 Tests, and 18 T20Is and accumulated 3,645 runs in her career. 

 

More than the runs she scored, it was the way she scored them that won her plaudits. The left-handed batter was aesthetically pleasing to watch and many felt she was cast in the mold of David Gower. She loved timing her strokes in the V and had a lazy elegance about her. Though she wasn’t a naturally aggressive batter, Anjum could grind opposition bowlers out through her resolute doggedness. 

 

Anjum Chopra captained India in 28 ODIs and 3 Tests and throughout her 17-year career, played the game with great integrity that still inspires several young women cricketers. 

Cathryn Fitzpatrick (Australia):

Known as the world’s fastest bowler in women cricket, Cathryn Fitzpatrick had terrorized batters in her prime with her raw pace. The right-arm fast bowler played 109 ODIs and 13 Tests for Australia and captured 240 international wickets in her 16-year career. Until India’s Jhulan Goswami surpassed her recently, Fitzpatrick’s tally of 180 ODI wickets was the most in women cricket history for a long time. 

Once clocked at 75mph, Fitzpatrick got great success because along with her pace, she was also deadly accurate. She was instrumental in Australia’s title victories in the ICC Women’s World Cup in 1997 and 2005 and has bagged 44 wickets in 25 matches in the event. Fitzpatrick is the oldest ever woman cricketer (at 37 years of age) to have taken a five-wicket haul in ODIs and is also the first female bowler in history to capture 150 ODI wickets. 

Another notable feature of Cathryn Fitzpatrick’s bowling was how miserly she was, going at an economy of 1.91 in Tests and 3.01 in ODIs. Clearly, she will always be looked on as one of the greatest ever bowlers in women’s cricket history. 

 

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