There are two types of people, one that adores Pez and is aware of her magnificent journey, and the other that is pretty much wasting their life. Okay, hold your horses. Believe it or not, you are missing out on a lot if you aren’t aware of her story so today, on her 31st birthday, let’s walk through her career right from the beginning.
Ellyse Alexandra Perry, or as the cricketing fraternity lovingly calls her-Pez was born on the 3rd of November, 1990 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Perry grew up in Sydney with one brother-Damien Perry and her parents- Kathy and Mark Perry who gave her exceptional athletic abilities, not to take credit away from her though. She grew up playing many sports like tennis, golf, touch football, cricket, and more but went on to pursue cricket and football sincerely and not ironically, we don’t go deep into her story before words like ‘youngest’ or ‘only’ start to appear.
Did you know that she first befriended her future teammate Alyssa Healy at the age of 9? In fact, Healy also gave Perry the nickname of ‘Dags’ owing to her loose-fitted clothing back in the day. 7 years later, as a result of her resolution, she holds the imposing record of being the only Australian to have represented Australia in both cricket and football that too at the youngest recorded age-16. This is an age when most are concerned about their social status, looks, and whatnot but Perry had different plans and we are so exhilarated that she did! Just a side note- she is also adored for her dashing looks and personality on and off the field.
Ellyse Perry’s ODI Debut
Having made her first international appearance in cricket in an ODI match on the 22nd of July, 2007 against New Zealand, she hasn’t looked back since then. In her very first appearance, she picked 2 wickets for 37 runs in her 8 overs and later, scored 19 off 20. Despite her seemly debut, she could not walk back to the hotel satisfied as the Aussies fell short of 35 runs.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) November 3, 2021
Ellyse Perry’s T20I Debut
A few months later, on the 1st of February, 2008, she made her T20 debut against mighty England at the prestigious Melbourne Cricket Ground, in style. To begin with, she picked 4 scalps and recorded an impressive 4/20 and later, smashed 29 off 25 balls, both of which were sufficient to win the game for Australia by 21 runs. It was after this match that Perry’s presence caught undue attention, especially by experienced players that noticed her sky-rocketing potential considering how well she was already performing at the tender age of 17.
Ellyse Perry’s Test Debut
Lastly, just a few days later, Perry made her test debut in one of the most awaited events – The Ashes. In this, she played a highly skillful knock, scoring 21 off 77 in the first innings before being run-out and breaking the most consequential partnership in the innings. Following this, she picked 3 wickets and scored 6 more runs in the whole match, making it a decent debut, if not impressive.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) November 3, 2021
While it is true that she began her career as a fast-bowler, it wasn’t long before she established herself as an all-rounder. This happened especially around 2014 when she radically shifted her focus to cricket. In the same year, Australia also won their third World T20 title which was a wholesome tournament for Perry too. In the final, the Aussies crossed swords with the English who they toppled with 6 wickets in hand. Perry was one of the top performers, picking 2/13 and an unbeaten 31, and to add to her ecstasy, she scored the winning runs.
In the following year, she reached the milestone of 1000 ODI runs on the 21st of July during the Ashes. Fast forward a couple of years, Perry is still the only female cricketer in the world to score 5000 runs and pick 300 international wickets and the only Australian to score 1000 runs and pick 100 wickets in T20s. Such records are easy to type and read however, ridiculously troublesome to achieve. Especially for someone that has been a part of the game since they were a child, it becomes unattainable to avoid burnout and injuries.
Ellyse Perry becomes the most capped Australian female player of all-time.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) October 9, 2021
However, by defining all odds, she continued to fight and won over 26 major individual awards for her excellent display of cricketing abilities and sportspersonship over the years. From a more statistical point of view, she scored almost 700 runs in her 15 test innings, with her highest score being a scintillating 213*. She also averages an impressive 86.62, alongside picking 33 wickets. In ODIs, she scored over 3000 runs and picked 152 wickets at an economy of 4.39, and lastly, in T20Is, she scored 1253 runs and picked 115 wickets.
First Australian Player (male or female) to achieve a career milestone of 5000 International Runs and 300 International Wickets.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) October 2, 2021
Summing up, although she has not shared much about her personal life, we are aware of some of her stunts outside her athletic career. For instance, we are familiar with her spouse (2015-20)- Matt Toomua, a professional rugby player, and more importantly, her endorsements and promotions, many of which were aimed at a noble cause such as helping young girls play cricket.
Alongside being one of the best players this sport has produced, she is also one of the most influential Australian athletes and a gem of a person who focuses on feeling good as she once quoted, “No one is perfect, and no one should be made to feel like they have to be perfect. It’s nice that we all have unique qualities that make us different as athletes and humans. That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with people who truly care about you.”
Student, Athlete, and Cricket Enthusiast.