The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced a special edition award called the ICC Awards of the Decade to reward the best performers of the decade, based on their numbers during the period between January 1, 2011 to October 7, 2020.
Suzie Bates, Meg Lanning, Ellyse Perry, Mithali Raj, Sarah Taylor and Stafanie Taylor have been shortlisted for the Rachael Heyhoe-Flint Award for ICC Female Cricketer of the Decade. The list consists of two pure batters in Lanning and Raj, one batting allrounder in Bates and a wicketkeeper-batter in Sarah and two genuine allrounders in Stafanie and Perry.
Number of runs scored
Lanning has indisputably been the best batter during the period having scored more runs than any other player in both white-ball formats. Meanwhile, her teammate Ellyse Perry dominated the Test arena, in the handful of matches that were played, ending the decade on top with the bat and the ball scoring 573 runs at an average of 114.60 and taking 26 wickets at an average of 16.73
Considering how few Test matches were played and that two of the nominees in the list haven't yet played a single Test in their career, we will look at the numbers in ODIs and T20Is.
Lanning, Bates and Stafanie finished the decade as the top three run-getters in both formats, while Raj and Perry are at number five and seven in the list in ODIs with Sarah at 12. In T20Is, Raj finds herself at nine having retired from the format and Sarah finished at 14 in the list before here retirement in 2019. Perry finds herself at 25 in the T20I list.
As you can see, Lanning bosses the batting charts with only Perry in ODIs and Raj in T20Is averaging more than her during the period, but her runs came at significantly faster pace than the other two. She also tops the chart in terms of the ability to score centuries, which is second to none in ODIs with her amazing conversion rate. Bates and Stafanie went past fifties more times than her, but Lanning is significantly ahead having converted 14 of her 29 fifties into a hundred. In T20Is, her Australia teammate Beth Mooney and England’s Danielle Wyatt are the only other two batters to score two centuries in the same period.
ALSO READ: All hail Meg the Mighty!
Stafanie scored more than 20 percent of her team’s runs in both formats during the decade, Bates with 22.5 percent of New Zealand’s runs in T20Is is the only other instance where a batter has scored more than 20 percent of team runs among these six nominees.
Sarah’s ability to score at a faster rate combined with her world class wicket-keeping skill made her an enviable asset for England in the decade. Only Lanning has scored at quicker pace in both formats during the decade among the six nominees.
Leading wicket-takers Marizanne Kapp (ODIs) and Poonam Yadav didn’t make it to the Player of the Decade shortlists of the respective formats. Stafanie took 106 Wickets in ODIs, seventh most overall, and 78 in T20Is, eighth most, during the period making her one of the premier allrounders in the world. Perry on the other hand took 98 ODI wickets and 89 T20I wickets (ninth in ODIs and fifth in T20Is) during the decade along with her ever-improving batting numbers to position herself as the number one ranked allrounder in the world.
Runs in Wins
Raj tops the batting average in wins in both formats with her ODI average rising to a whopping 80.44 compared to her overall average of 51.72 in the time period. Bates also has been crucial to New Zealand’s wins averaging 75.89 in wins in ODIs, with her strike rate also rising significantly to match that of Lanning. Here too, Lanning holds her own having scored all her centuries in wins with only two of her 29 fifties in the same period coming in losses. Sarah’s numbers are also amazing with one fifty in T20Is and two in ODIs resulting in losses and she scored those runs at a faster rate than her even otherwise impressive strike rate.
ODI RUNS IN WINS
T20I RUNS IN WINS
ALSO READ: The paradoxical ways of Mignon du Preez
Wickets in Wins
Unsurprisingly, Perry and Stafanie’s number improve in wins with the West Indies skipper averaging an astonishing 14.83 with the ball in ODI wins with better strike rate than Perry. The allrounder also racked up impressive numbers in T20I wins for the Caribbean side with her bowling average, strike rate and economy being better than the other two allrounders in the list.
Performance in global events
Two ODI World Cups and five T20I World Cups were played during this period and Australia won five of them with England’s win in 2017 World Cup and West Indies in 2016 T20 World Cup as exceptions.
ODI World Cup Runs
T20I World Cup Runs
Bates, who was the player of the series in the 2013 World Cup, tops the ODI World Cup performance charts having scored 649 runs at an average of 72.11-including six fifty plus scores. She didn’t fare worse in the T20 World Cups either having scored the third most runs behind Lanning and Alyssa Healy during the period, but individual brilliance couldn’t take her side to a title triumph and the last T20 World Cup saw her performance dip as New Zealand crashed to a second consecutive first round exit.
Sarah had a significant impact in England’s 2017 World Cup triumph scoring 396 runs at an average of 49.50 and a strike rate of 99. She played two significant knocks in the semi and final of the tournament with her player of the match performance in the semis taking England over the line by two wickets.
Raj was instrumental in India’s impressive run to the final of the 2017 event, where she finished as the second leading run-scorer in the tournament with 409 runs to her name just one run behind Tammy Beaumont. Her crucial knock of 109 in the match against New Zealand helped India progress to the semi-final before Harmanpreet Kaur’s seminal knock put them one match away from their first global title.
ALSO READ: Is Meg Lanning’s Australia replicating the success of Ricky Ponting’s men from 2000s?
Stafanie’s player of the series performance in the 2016 T20 World Cup is one of the most impactful as it gave Australia their only tournament defeat of the decade in the T20 global event. She topped the batting charts with 246 runs in the tournament while also taking eight wickets. Her 59 and the 120-run partnership with Hayley Matthews was instrumental in leading them to the only global triumph in their cricketing history.
Perry, who gave Australia their first T20 global triumph in 2010 with a famous football type save, also had her impact at the global stages during the decade with her figures of 2 for 13 in the 2014 final restricting England to a moderate score before Australia overhauled it with plenty of time to spare with the talismanic allrounder scoring the winning run as she remained unbeaten on 31.
ODI World Cup Wickets
T20 World Cup Wickets
Lanning also had a significant impact in the T20 World Cups with her scores in the last three semi-finals and finals reading 55, 52, 31, 28*, 49* and 16. Her 55 against England in the 2016 semi-final took Australia to the final. Even though her 52 failed to get the better of West Indies in the final, she played a crucial 31-run knock in the semi-final of the 2018 event on a sluggish surface before repeating the heroics at home in 2020 semi-final against South Africa with her 49 not out taking Australia to a historic final.