Women’s cricket is growing and it’s great to see. Fans everywhere are listening to podcasts dedicated to the sport, they’re debating key issues online, attendances are healthier than ever before, and the quality of cricket on show is notably improving thanks to the plethora of talented professional female players.
Although women’s cricket lags behind the men’s game in many respects, with big encounters in the men’s category pulling in massive viewing figures and fans everywhere exploring options like online betting ahead of backing their favourite teams, for example, the women’s game is certainly illustrating dramatic growth thanks to modern-day superstars, such as Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry, and even former heroes, like Belinda Clark and Karen Rolton.
These inspirational female cricketers have helped bring eyes onto the sport, although they aren’t the only top players that deserve a mention. In fact, the women’s game has seen a number of highly talented professionals ooze class on numerous occasions, perhaps by putting on a bowling masterclass or by batting their way to a victory-sealing score. With that in mind, let’s salute just some of the greatest female cricketers of all time.
After being credited for establishing Pakistan’s women’s cricket team, we couldn’t really leave Shaiza Khan off the list. Not only did she overcome numerous obstacles on her journey to the very top, but Khan had immense ability when it came to bowling. Her retirement in 2004 was sad in many respects, while her death left many distraught, but her impact on the women’s game will be felt around the world forever.
Following her retirement in 2005, Lisa Keightley undoubtedly took a step back from the game she loves knowing that she’d accomplished a great deal. The Australian right arm batter was a dangerous opponent for any bowler to face. A high scorer on a regular basis, Keightley was named as the Player of the Tournament at the 2000 ODI World Cup. Additionally, the well-liked Aussie is the first female player to score 100 at the world-famous Lord’s venue.
A player who has inspired so many, particularly in India, Mithali Raj is widely regarded as her country’s best-ever professional, especially with the bat. Her contribution to the growth of women’s cricket in India is immense, with her accomplishments bringing more exposure to the sport in the country and inspiring millions in the process. Raj has played in the most ODIs, she has captained the most matches, she has scored more ODI runs than anyone else (7805), has been named the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Decade, and plenty more.
Kiwi cricketers will certainly be familiar with Katey Martin, a reliable wicketkeeper who achieved over 96 catches and 43 stumpings during an excellent career. A great professional and inspirational leader, Katey Martin is one of the most consistent wicketkeepers the female game of cricket has seen. Any aspiring Kiwi players could certainly do worse than watching clips of Katey Martin’s various highlights.
Mignon du Preez
Dangerous with the bat and impressively calm when wicketkeeping, Mignon du Preez is one of South Africa’s best-ever players. After turning out for the likes of the Warriors, the Northerns, the Trent Rockets, the Manchester Originals, the Hobart Hurricanes, and her beloved national team, Mignon du Preez has recorded notable success. For example, she captained South Africa to the 2014 T20 World Cup Semi-finals, while also managing to make the most ODI appearances out of any South African women’s cricketer.
One of England’s greatest-ever players, Heather Knight is one of the few players on the list that is still playing today. The current captain of the England team will certainly go down as a legend in her home country when she does finally decide to call it a day, with Knight being the second most successful English ODI captain ever at the time of writing, although she will clearly be striving to take top spot in the next few years.
Loves all things female cricket