The 2020 Women’s World T20 is a showpiece event for women’s cricket this year. Considering the buzz around the event, it is expected to be a game-changer for women’s cricket as was seen in the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup in England. In fact, Melbourne is doing all that it can to ensure record-breaking attendance for the finals to be held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on 8th March, which is also International Women’s Day.
In such a huge event played at a global level like this, it is important for any team to have veterans in the field. They have the required experience in dealing with a variety of situations, the skill sets to perform at this level confidently and consistently and they also shoulder the responsibility of grooming and guiding the younger players. The latter is a crucial role that the veterans will be involved in. With the growing popularity of the T20 leagues around the world, a lot of new talents have been unearthed, many of whom will be a part of this competition for the first time in their lives. They will gain a lot from the experience of these veterans.
Following players have been participating in the World T20 every year since the first edition in 2009 and are expected to make a huge impact in this edition as well:
Ellyse Perry (Australia)
Australian star all-rounder Ellyse Perry is one of the most experienced and accomplished players in the game at the moment. Having made her T20I debut way back in 2008, she has kept on breaking records after records, not only in this format but in the other formats as well. She has played the highest number of T20I matches (116) to date having scored 1192 runs at an average of just under 30, hitting 4 half-centuries. What makes her so accomplished is that in spite of being a great batter, she is also an excellent and wicket-taking bowler having taken 113 wickets at an average of under 20 runs, with the best figures of 4 wickets for just 12 runs, a match in which Australia was able to defend a relatively mediocre score of 136/5 against India.
It must be noted that one of her half-centuries was scored in that match itself. She has had more such all-round performances throughout her career. In the 32 T20 World Cup matches she has played, she has scored a total of 285 runs at more than a run-a-ball and an average of 31, but more importantly, has picked up the highest number of wickets at World T20s (36). In the 2010 World T20, she picked up 2 wickets for 19 runs in the league game against West Indies winning the game for her side by 9 runs. In the finals, she took 3 wickets for 18 runs as she helped Australia defend only 106 runs as Australia claimed the trophy for the first time. In the 2014 edition, she showed her capability to bat with the middle order and salvaging a collapse. Against South Africa, she came in at 34/3 and stayed till the end making a crucial 29-ball 41 helping Australia cross the line. She also took 2 wickets for 17 runs against Ireland and 3 wickets for 12 runs against Pakistan while bowling.
Harmanpreet Kaur (India)
Indian captain Harmanpreet Kaur is currently the most accomplished woman cricketer for the country with 109 T20I caps to date. She is the first Indian player, male or female, to play 100 T20Is for India. Her fearsome strikes can clear the boundary with ease and, when she is on the song, she is truly unstoppable. She is an excellent finisher and can accelerate quickly at the end of the innings to propel her side towards a formidable total. Who can forget her whirlwind century against Australia at the 50-over World Cup in 2017 where she took the strong bowling attack apart to knock Australia out of the competition? Her dominating brand of cricket has earned her a nickname ‘Harmonster’ for a good reason.
She has scored 2156 runs to date with a strike rate of more than a run-a-ball with one century and 6 half-centuries to her name. Among active players, she is the leading run-scorer for India in Women’s T20Is. She is also a handy bowler taking 29 wickets so far. In World T20s, she has played 25 matches scoring 428 of her runs and taking 11 wickets. In fact, her career-best batting and bowling figures came in World T20 matches. In the 2016 edition, during the game against the West Indies, she took her career-best haul of 4 wickets for 23 runs to restrict West Indies to 114/8 but could not chase it down. In the 2018 edition, during the opening game of the tournament against New Zealand, she scored her only century (103) in just 51 balls smashing 7 fours and 8 sixes to propel India to a massive 194/5, the highest score in Women’s World T20 and defended superbly to win the game. She also scored 77 off 59 balls against Bangladesh and took 2 wickets for 12 runs against West Indies in the 2014 edition.
Suzie Bates (New Zealand)
New Zealand’s former skipper has a stellar record both in T20I cricket and the World T20 in particular. She has played 115 T20Is till dates, just behind Ellyse Perry, having scored as many as 3195 runs, the most runs by any player in Women’s T20Is. She has scored a century and 21 half-centuries. Her highest individual score is an unbeaten 124 in 66 balls hitting 16 fours and 3 sixes. She propelled New Zealand to 216/1 in their allotted 20 overs and New Zealand won the game comfortably. She has featured in all editions of the World T20 to date playing 28 World T20 matches.
She has scored a total of 881 runs in the tournament which is the highest run tally in the competition scoring 6 of her half-centuries. Her tally of 228 runs in the 2014 edition was the second-highest during that edition and the third-highest number of runs in a single edition of the tournament. During that edition, she scored 68 off 51 balls against Ireland and an unbeaten 94 off 61 balls against Pakistan. Apart from this, she has scored a 39-ball 60 against West Indies in just her second World T20 game in 2009. She also scored 82 runs off 60 balls against Ireland in the 2016 edition. She has got a wealth of experience as a player and a captain and she could provide valuable inputs on the field with her fellow veteran Sophie Devine as captain.
Stafanie Taylor (West Indies)
West Indian all-rounder Stafanie Taylor has also been participating in the World T20 since the inaugural edition of 2009. She has done exceedingly well in this format, both with the bat and ball. In T20Is overall, she has played 100 matches scoring 2900 runs, the second-highest run-scorer after Suzie Bates, at an average of over 35 and scoring at more than a run-a-ball. She has hit 21 half-centuries with a top score of 90 against Ireland. She is also a very accomplished bowler, taking 84 wickets in the 100 games that she has played. In the World T20s, she is the second-highest run-scorer after Suzie Bates with 797 runs, including 6 half-centuries. She also has claimed 28 wickets in the World T20 and is among the top wicket-takers in the tournament.
She scored a half-century in the first-ever World T20 game in 2009 against South Africa, which they won by a narrow margin of 4 runs. She also scored 58 runs off 56 balls and also took 2 wickets against New Zealand in a losing cause. She scored 58 runs off 54 balls against Australia and 40 runs off 33 balls in the 2010 edition. She then scored a pair of 56 runs in the 2014 edition, first against England and then against Sri Lanka, which West Indies managed to win. The 2016 edition was the most memorable tournament with her leading the run charts with 246 runs including 40 runs against Pakistan and 47 runs against India. However, she shone with the ball taking 3 wickets for 13 runs against Bangladesh and a crucial 3 wickets for 26 runs against New Zealand in the semi-finals as they narrowly won the game by 6 runs to progress to the finals. She scored 59 runs in the finals, her highest in the World T20, to help West Indies lift the trophy for the first time. In the 2018 edition, she took her career-best figures of 4 wickets for 12 runs against South Africa. Her performance is expected to determine West Indies’ fortunes in the tournament.
Deandra Dottin (West Indies)
Another hard-hitting West Indian, Deandra Dottin plays with freedom and can dominate the bowling in the opening exchanges by striking the ball powerfully and scoring runs at a rapid pace. If she sticks around for a few overs, she is capable of setting her side up for putting up some stiff targets or help in bringing tall chases to control. She has featured in 110 T20Is to date scoring a total of 2368 runs at more than a run-a-ball smacking 2 centuries and 10 half-centuries. She holds the record of the fastest century in Women’s T20I shellacking 112 runs from 45 balls against a group game against South Africa at the 2010 World T20. She reached her century in just 38 balls. She has also taken 59 wickets in all T20Is with the best figures of 5 wickets for 5 runs against Bangladesh in the 2018 edition of the World T20, which remains the best figure in Women’s T20Is ever. She has also played in all World T20s to date and has proven to be excellent both while batting or bowling.
In the World T20s, she has played 27 matches and scored 638 runs scoring one century and 3 half-centuries. She has also taken 26 wickets in World T20s, leading the bowling charts for the 2018 edition with 10 wickets. Apart from her career-best batting and bowling performances, he has also had many memorable moments throughout the tournament. She scored a half-century off just 25 balls against Australia in the 2009 edition. In the 2012 World T20, she scored an unbeaten 58 off 42 deliveries against New Zealand. She scored another 57 off 51 balls against India in the 2014 edition. In the 2016 edition, she had a couple of important bowling performances, such as 3 wickets for 16 runs against India and 2 wickets for 33 runs in the finals against Australia. In the 2018 edition, apart from the career-best haul of 5 wickets for 5 runs, she also made a crucial 46 against England to help her side emerge victoriously and top the group. Although it seems that her participation in this edition will be limited owing to her recent surgery, she is sure to put in impressive performances whenever she gets an opportunity.
With such players participating in the competition, one cannot feel anything but excited to see them perform. It is a privilege to have these players in the tournament performing like the way they have done in the past and guiding the youngsters as they hand over the reins to them. For some of them, this might end up being the last edition that they could participate in and they would want to end it with a bang.
Stay tuned to FemaleCricket for all the updates on the Women’s World T20 starting from February 21st.