After executing a fantastic year in women’s cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the Women’s ODI and T20I teams of the year.
Former White Ferns captain Suzie Bates was named the captain of the ODI side whereas India T20I captain Harmanpreet Kaur was named the captain of the shortest format.
Both sides have been selected by the same voting academy, which comprised the members of the media and broadcasters.
The members were Melinda Farrell, Melanie Jones, Lisa Sthalekar (all from Australia), Charlotte Edwards, Kalika Mehta (both from England), Anjum Chopra, Snehal Pradhan (both from India), Lesley Murdoch (New Zealand), Urooj Mumtaz (Pakistan), Natalie Germanos (South Africa), Alan Wilkins (Wales) and Ian Bishop (West Indies).
If you were a witness to her sensational form in 2018, you’d find that Suzie Bates’ appointment as the leader is hardly surprising.
In arguably the most sensational ODI contest of 2018- where number crunching became serious business- as the White Ferns scored 491 against Ireland, a score so mammoth in its conception as to have not been achieved in the men’s game, Bates made 151.
In an ode to her consistency, one’s got to factor in her consistency against the touring Windies Women, who came and knocked on Kiwi doors, at the start of 2018, knowing not what was to happen.
Bates was among the stars in snubbing aside Windies, remorselessly with the bat and leadership skills.
Even when the Women’s IPL qualifier, held in India’s spiritual home of cricket, Mumbai, Bates was at her all-round best.
Moreover, she played a key role for her side and her contribution lifted her team to be second in the ICC Women’s Championship after three rounds.
While talking about her achievements, Bates, who always puts her side before her, shared, “Thank you very much to everyone who voted for the ICC team of the year. To be named captain is just an absolute honor.
Obviously, I have been playing for a long time and stepped down from captaincy, but to be named the captain of a World XI is pretty special and something I will always remember.”
“It would be nice one day if we got together to play as a group and to captain some of the superstars, but once again such a huge honor and congratulations to all the award winners for this year,” she further added.
The eleven-member ODI side comprised of the players from seven countries, based on their extraordinary performances in 2018. Tammy Beaumont and Sophie Ecclestone from England, Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Yadav from India, Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine from New Zealand, Dane van Niekerk and Marizanne Kapp from South Africa, Alyssa Healy from Australia, Sana Mir from Pakistan and Deandra Dottin from West Indies.
India’s left-hand opener Smriti Mandhana is the highest run-getter of the year while Tammy Beaumont hit two hundred in the year and played really well against all the top eight teams. Earlier Bates had stepped down from the captaincy but her 438 runs with two centuries and a half-century in 7 ODIs at an average of 73 with the SR of 102.09 made her one of the best players in her generation. She is currently ranked seventh in the ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Batters.
Along with her, Sophie Devine has been selected for making 533 runs from seven matches at an average of 106 including three hundred and two fifties. Australia wicket-keeper batter Alyssa Healy is the other player has been selected in the 11-member squad. She scored her maiden ODI century against India earlier this year but narrowly missed out another one against Pakistan later.
South Africa captain Dane van Niekerk was one of only four players to score at least 500 runs in this year.
Her consistency and ability to score runs helped her to be there in the list; whereas West Indies’ big-hitter Deandra Dottin found a place in the XI, although mostly to her bowling ability.
The two-time T20 hundred maker picked up 12 wickets in six matches in 2018’s ODIs. Along with her, Marizanne Kapp too made it to the list owing to her consistent bowling.
Sophie Ecclestone is the new addition in the list.
The left-arm spinner has played 13 ODIs so far and is placed fourth on the list of top wicket-takers.
Her 18 scalps came in 9 matches against all the top eight teams.
Former Pakistan captain Sana Mir scalped 19 wickets in 7 matches and currently the top-ranked bowler in the ICC Women’s Players Rankings for ODI Bowlers.
This is her second ICC recognition after her delivery to Ireland’s Laura Delany; which caused Delany’s dismissal in the recently concluded in the ICC Women’s World T20, earned her the Play of the Tournament award. Along with her, India’s leg-spinner Poonam Yadav too found a place in the squad after picking up 20 wickets this year.
ICC Women’s ODI Team of the Year (in batting order):
- Smriti Mandhana (India)
2. Tammy Beaumont (England)
3. Suzie Bates (New Zealand) (captain)
4. Dane van Niekerk (South Africa)
5. Sophie Devine (New Zealand)
6. Alyssa Healy (Australia) (wicketkeeper)
7. Marizanne Kapp (South Africa)
8. Deandra Dottin (Windies)
9. Sana Mir (Pakistan)
10. Sophie Ecclestone (England)
11. Poonam Yadav (India)