From Tokyo to England via Netherlands: Story of Natalie Sciver

She was born in Tokyo, she began cricket in the Netherlands and she finally represented England at the international level in the sport, Natalie Sciver has indeed come a long way. Quite surprisingly, cricket was not the first sport that she took up, rather it was her fourth choice sport, after football, tennis, and basketball, which she played during her formative years in different parts of the world, outside England.

 

Natalie Sciver remained unbeaten on 148 Runs against Australia in the Finals of World Cup 2022. PC: ICC/Getty
Natalie Sciver remained unbeaten on 148 Runs against Australia in the Finals of World Cup 2022. PC: ICC/Getty

 

After spending her early part of childhood in Tokyo, Poland, and the Netherlands, Sciver moved to England. As a teenager, she started playing club cricket and gradually made her way to playing for Surrey at the county level. She got her first break into the Surrey side in 2010 and three years later, riding on her scintillating all-round performances, she made the cut to the England team. Sciver, a right-handed middle-order batter and a right-arm medium-pace bowler, made her international debut against Pakistan in an ODI on July 1, 2013.

International Hat-Trick for Nat Sciver

In the same bilateral series, she made her T20I debut. Just after three months of making her T20I debut, Natalie Sciver created history as she became the first English cricketer, male or female, to take a hat-trick in a T20I. The right-arm speedster accomplished this feat against New Zealand in Bridgetown on October 22, 2013, during a tri-series that also included the West Indies. Sciver bowled a dream 19th over for England as she sent the White Ferns’ batters in Maddy Green, Erin Bermingham, and Frances Mackay, her hat-trick victims, packing.

Apart from being a brilliant bowler, Sciver is an excellent middle-order batter. There is also shot named after this stylish bat. It is “Natmeg” shot, an unbelievable shot that she plays when she hits a cricket ball through her legs leaving not only the opposition shell shocked but also the crowd. Sciver’s batting is a classic coalescence of conventional and unconventional cricketing shots which makes it difficult for the bowlers to bowl to her and the opposition captains to set the fields to tame her free flow of runs.

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Natalie Sciver - England Women's Cricket Team
Natalie Sciver – England Women’s Cricket Team

 

Backed by a solid technique and astounding physical strength, she can tear apart any bowling attack. During the 2017 World Cup which was hosted by England, she combined forces with her captain Heather Knight to set the record for the joint-highest third-wicket partnership in the history of the Women’s Cricket World Cup. The duo put together 213 runs against Pakistan in Leicester on June 27, 2017. In the same World Cup, she created another record when she became the highest run-getter for a number five batter in an ODI inning. The right-handed middle order batter muscled 129 runs off 111 balls against New Zealand at Derby on July 12, 2017. Having the likes of somebody like a Sciver in their ranks, it was almost impossible for anybody to deny the fact that England were the favourites for the World Cup title. The hosts proved their worth as they went on to clinch their fourth World Cup championship by beating India in the finals, a team to which they had lost in the league stage.

At present, Sciver is the vice-captain of England, however, in 2021, she got the opportunity to lead the side in three T20Is against New Zealand in the absence of the regular captain Heather Knight. Out of the three matches, Sciver steered England to a win in two matches. Her brief captaincy stint was a testament to her impeccable cricketing brain and an unparalleled match temperament.

 

Nat Sciver celebrates a wicket Getty Images
Nat Sciver celebrates a wicket. PC: Getty Images

 

Unequivocally, Sciver is a well-established international star. Apart from featuring at the international level in cricket for England, Sciver plays global franchise cricket tournaments like the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) in Australia, Women’s T20 Challenge in India and of course England’s very own The Hundred. The dashing all-rounder was signed by the Melbourne Stars in the inaugural season of WBBL in 2015-16 and this hard hitting batter proved her worth by becoming the first woman to hit a six in the competition.

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Natalie Sciver, who is an all-format player, is an integral part of this England jigsaw puzzle and there is seldom any doubt that she will always be remembered as one of the finest all-rounders in the history of the women’s game.

I am a former cricketer having represented Mumbai University at All India University level. I was a part of MCA probables for the U-19 and U-23 age group. I have been an avid cricket writer for the last five years. Currently I am pursuing my Ph.D from IIT Bombay.

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