What started as a groundbreaking year for women’s T20 cricket has sadly succumbed to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, but which players were leading the way before all cricket was brought to a standstill?
The ICC operates a player ranking system for both men and women, in three separate categories- batters, bowlers and all-rounders. The rankings have often been described as purely a measure of form, but the ICC have emphasised that their algorithm takes into account a player’s entire career, despite a clear focus on recent performances. With that said, these are the players currently ranked number one in each of these three respective categories.
Batting: Beth Mooney (Australia)
For those who followed the T20 World Cup earlier this year, it may come as no surprise that Mooney tops the current batting rankings. Finishing as the competition’s leading run scorer with 259, and taking home the player of the tournament award, Mooney was instrumental in helping Australia retain their World T20 title. Mooney was also a standout performer in the 2019 Women’s Big Bash League, where she averaged 74.30 across the tournament, scoring 9 fifties in just 16 innings. Still at just 26 years-old, she also boasts the highest international T20 batting average for a player with over 1000 runs of all time, with 38.21.
Bowling: Sophie Ecclestone (England)
Having now established herself as England’s indispensable spin bowler, Ecclestone has become a more than successful replacement for the now retired Laura Marsh. She made her debut at the age of just 17 and has taken 50 T20 wickets in just 34 matches since 2016. Her recent form has been nothing short of outstanding as well. Ecclestone took 8 wickets in 4 matches at the World Cup earlier this year, finishing with the lowest average (6.12) and lowest economy (3.23), of any player in the competition. With Sarah Glenn also emerging for England as a leg-spin option, England’s spin options for the future are perhaps stronger than any other team in the world.
All-Rounder: Sophie Devine (New Zealand)
Starting off as predominantly a bowler, Devine has established herself as one of the finest all-rounders of all-time in recent years. Sitting 5th in the all-time runs list, and 10th in wickets taken, Devine is undeniably the most integral player in the New Zealand squad right now, and still one of the most valuable players in the world. Whilst New Zealand failed to reach the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup earlier this year, Devine still averaged 44 with the bat and took 3 wickets. Her performances in last year’s Big Bash further support her ranking, as she finished as the competition’s leading run scorer with 769 runs in 16 matches.
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