Ellyse Perry – The Ultimate Role Model bags top Honours

The more you hear about Ellyse Perry, the more you are in awe of her. All the articles on her journey, her accomplishments do not do justice to what she has actually achieved; not only for herself but also for the overall sporting world. ‘Pez’, as she is fondly nicknamed by her teammates, is undoubtedly the greatest female cricketer, if not the greatest cricketer, of all times.

On this momentous day when she has clean swept the ICC Awards of the Decade, let us take a look back at Perry’s journey – The start, the struggles, and all that went into the making of this sporting superstar.

 

Ellyse Perry. PC: Getty Images
Ellyse Perry. PC: Getty Images

 

Perry, who was born on 3rd November 1990, has represented Australia in cricket as well as football. She made it into both the soccer team as well as the cricket team at only 16 years of age. She is the youngest Australian to play international cricket and the first to have appeared in both ICC and FIFA World Cups.

As is the case with every successful sportsperson, Perry started her journey at a very young age. During her years at Beecroft Primary School, she played a variety of sports other than cricket, such as soccer, tennis, athletics, touch football, and golf. She was also the Sports, Athletics and Cricket captain at Pymble Ladies’ College. Soon after turning 16, Perry made her debut for New South Wales (NSW) in the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) and has never looked back since. After impressing the world and winning the championship in her debut season, Perry has gone on to win ten more WNCL championships with NSW and has created a plethora of mind-boggling records.

Perry, despite having never played a match at the senior level, was fast-tracked into the Australian team. During her T20I debut, Perry showed the world that she was meant for the big stage and was here to stay for a long time. Perry impressed not only with the bat and ball in hand but also showcased her fielding prowess which led to a buzz in the cricketing world about this new wonderkid.

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Test matches are the toughest of them all. It tests not only your skills but also your temperament, your grit, and your mental toughness. No wonder a player is ranked and judged only after they play a test match. Although Perry had a tough debut test match in the Ashes as a player, she showed a lot of grit and courage and proved to the world that she was here for the long run.

Perry made her first appearance in an ICC tournament in the 2009 Women’s World Cup. While Australia did not qualify for the final, Perry’s stocks as a player kept on rising. She played a key role in Australia’s triumphant 2010 World T20 campaign. In the finals, Perry rose to the occasion and almost single-handedly won the match for Australia.

‘Intent’ is a word used often in cricket. More than the results, we look for intent from a player and Perry showed us just that when she completed her quota of overs despite having an ankle injury in the finals of the 2013 Cricket World Cup. The pain through which she performed earned her the moniker of “Australia’s limping hero” and garnered plaudits from the cricketing world.

 

Ellyse Perry injured herself while fielding during New Zealand clash
Ellyse Perry injured herself while fielding during New Zealand clash

 

Champions are never satisfied. They always look for challenges and when they encounter one, they find ways to become victorious. So, while Perry had achieved a lot in limited-overs cricket, Test cricket was a challenge she was yet to master. But like all great players, Perry showed that she is more than just a one-dimensional player when she played a historic inning of 213* while all her teammates struggled to cross even 50 in the 2017-18 Ashes series.

Other than her heroics at the international level, Perry also has wonderful records at the domestic level. She has been prolific in the Women’s Big Bash League, has been superb in the Women’s Cricket Super League, and also has a stand named after her where the Women’s Big Bash League is concerned.

Perry’s journey has been marred by injuries; she has undergone surgeries and been ruled out for far more times than one can remember. But the fighter in her never gives up. Every time there has been a setback, she has come back stronger than before. Her journey as a sportswoman has been so dynamic and so full of achievements that it makes one wonder what could have been had Women’s cricket been given more infrastructure and facilities.

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But let’s not dwell on that and doff our hats to Ellyse Perry who has been nothing short of exceptional and is an inspiration and an idol to every young girl around the world.

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