The T20 Women’s World Cup gets underway in Australia in a little under a months’ time so we’re going to take a look at five players to keep an eye on throughout the tournament.
1. Shafali Verma, India
It was impossible not to list Verma as the biggest prospect to keep a close eye on. The tournament opens when Australia take on India and the Indian batswoman will only be 16 years and 23 days old. After some impressive displays in the IPL, her T20I bow came in September where she became the youngest cap in India’s history and two months later she was setting more records with a fabulous score of 73 in India’s win over the West Indies. On raw ability it’s highly plausible we will see Verma add to the 35 boundaries she’s already registered but the toughest challenge for such a young mind could well be built in her own head.
2. Annabel Sutherland, Australia
If there is such a thing as a wildcard selection then Sutherland, who is uncapped, is it. The Melbourne Stars teen burst on the scene with the Renegades back as a 15 year old when she became the youngest player to appear in the Big Bash and although the warm up games will be her first taste of senior international cricket, she has been capped at youth levels. Can she handle the step up? We suspect she will.
3. Harmanpreet Kaur, India
Harman, as she’s widely known, made her first steps into the international scene back in 2009 during a tie with England. Since then, the all-rounder has been an unstoppable force racking up over 2,000 runs with the bat and taking her fair share of wickets too. She’s been named captain ahead of the tournament and, given she plays her domestic cricket for Sydney Thunder, her experience of the Aussie conditions may come in handy.
4. Alyssa Healy, Australia
Okay, so perhaps there is no surprises to see Healy listed hereafter her displays in the 2018 World Cup saw her scoop the player of the tournament award as she batted Australia to glory. Healy’s performances haven’t dipped either and, if her recent record-breaking run haul against Sri Lanka (148 n/o) and the 2019 player of the year award is anything to go by then Healy could well do the same on home turf this time around as well.
5. Lee-Ann Kirby
It’s probably a fair assumption to make that Kirby won’t be the player of the World Cup. The reason she makes our cut is due to the intrigue that surrounds her selection; she’s 32 years old but last made a T20I appearance for the West Indies back in 2008. Now she’s been called back into the fold with selector Anne Browne-John labeling her a ‘prolific scorer’. Last time round she only registered a paltry run average of 5 and this chance in Oz is surely her final opportunity.
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