It was an exciting period for women’s cricket from February 21 to March 8 when 10 teams locked horns against each other in the ICC Women’s World T20.
The four-time winners and the defending champions Australia, who were the hosts too, took on India, the first time finalists in World T20 on the International Women’s Day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in the finals. Australians continued their dominance over women’s cricket as they pocketed their fifth World T20 title. Throughout the competition, there was a wonderful cricketing display. Many players emerged as stars for their respective teams. Playing well in Australia means that these players have put forward a strong case for themselves to be considered for Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL), the first international women’s T20 league hosted Down Under.
Here are the five players to be looked upon for WBBL that goes underway later this year.
India’s teen sensation Shafali Verma has taken the internet by storm, thanks to her swashbuckling batting and fearless attitude on the field. The 16-year old opens the batting for India in the shortest format of the game. Making her international debut in September 2019, the child prodigy has made the opening position her own in the Indian team. With just 19 T20Is under her belt so far, Shafali has already shown a lot of promise which is evident from her numbers. Verma has two fluent half-centuries to her name and has muscled 487 runs at an average of 27.05. She strikes at a rate of 146.24 and her highest score is 73. From the day Verma’s bat started talking for the Women in Blue, the Indian team has been heavily dependent on her to provide them with a flying start. Shafali was among the top five run-getters in the recently concluded ICC Women’s World T20 and played a pivotal role in India’s journey to the first-ever World T20 final.
South Africa’s Ayabonga Khaka is a talented right-arm medium pace bowler who is known for her ability to keep the run rate down and be a consistent wicket-taker. The 27-year old made her debut in 2012 and has been around for quite some time now. Khaka has made 29 appearances for Proteas in the shortest format of the game, picking up 28 wickets. Though her statistics might not exactly speak volumes of her skill, Khaka has undoubtedly come of age. With four wickets in four matches during the World T20, Khaka had a fine outing. In the semi-final against Australia, she shared the new ball with Shabnim Ismail and took the important wicket of Alyssa Healy. Ayabonga is flexible as far as her bowling job is concerned; she can open, bowl in the middle overs as well as contain in the death.
The 20-year old leggie from England is one of the best finds of the recently concluded ICC Women’s World T20. Sarah Glenn picked up six wickets in four matches that England played during the World Cup and was a go-to bowler for skipper Heather Knight when the side was in need of wickets. Glenn is still in her nascent stage of career having featured in just 10 T20Is. In her short stint so far, the leg spinner has spun the web to scalp 15 wickets giving away just over five runs per over and has a healthy average of 12.93. Alongside Amelia Kerr and Sophie Ecclestone, Sarah is nothing short of a vital cog in the spinning wheel of England.
New Zealand’s right-arm off-break bowler Leigh Kasperek is known for her wicket-taking ability. The 28-year old originally from Scotland ha featured in 40 T20Is for White Ferns and has scalped 65 wickets at an average of 13.64. Kasperek had a decent outing in the World T20 as she managed to pick up five wickets in four matches. She leads New Zealand’s spin department and has the goodwill of being an attacking bowler.
The 24-year old right-arm seamer from Pakistan has been one of the best bowlers in the team. Baig is a disciplined bowler who is known to be parsimonious with the ball. At an economy of less than six, Diana has picked up 19 wickets in 22 matches. Though her team had an ordinary outing in the World T20 that concluded on March 8, Diana had a good run with the ball as she scalped six wickets in four matches.