The moment that the true cricket fans- not those purely and only obsessed with the men’s game- had been waiting for is here. And only a few hours remain for the commencement of the mother of all cricketing battles in the women’s realm. The 2022 Women’s World Cup promises massive thrill and entertainment.
And lest it is forgotten, some key big milestones that noted figures from the sport are closing in on.
What individual milestones, therefore, are some of the most famous and noted talents in the women’s game poised to reach?
While the men’s game in West Indies had legends like the iconic 3 Ws, Sir Viv, Wes Hall, Sir Sobers and Brian Lara, the women’s game is blessed to have Stafanie Taylor. She’s more than a star; she’s a workaholic who loves to contribute in both departments or skills of the game where her talent has realized its full potential.
The greats, they begin early as they say. And Stafanie Taylor, the bedrock of West Indian batting, was barely past seventeen when she arrived in the ODI arena.
At 30 years and 265 days, she’s already closing in on a mega individual milestone particularly where the bowling department is concerned.
Needing just two more wickets to register 150 scalps, the great Taylor will back herself to put a right tick mark on this very precious milestone in the forthcoming 2022 Women’s World Cup.
Interestingly, given that Windies and hosts, White Ferns are opening the 2022 Women’s world cup, it seems Taylor has a great opportunity at her disposal to mark the special feat. So will she be among the wickets?
For someone’s who is quite clearly a once-in-a-generation cricketer, the likes of Ellyse Perry aren’t born everyday. That Australia have in their ranks a world class talent is massive news for the Southern Stars but a dangerous predicament for those challenging the Aussies’ might.
A born athlete and someone who believes in giving her 110 per cent in every game, Perry for starters would be keen to make do for her massive injury-ridden absence in the 2020 women’s T20 world cup that she watched from the sidelines.
So can she come good in the 2022 Women’s World Cup?
Well, there’s great motivation for the ever-smiling starlet to do so. The right-hander needs to bat for just three more ODI innings to complete 100 ODI innings for her Australia.
Thus far, she’s amassed 3206 runs, including 2 centuries.
Mignon du Preez
Ever smiling. Always confident. Always for the team, never for the self, and above all- a truly experienced heavyweight for the Proteas women: Mignon du Preez is all this and more. A schoolboy prodigy who made hundreds for fun in her growing up years, du Preez has been one of the mainstays of the South African batting for well over a decade.
A former captain, Mignon has walked the long mile into forging what has clearly been an impressive and durable career and with the coming of the 2022 Women’s world cup, the right hander is marking yet another world cup edition to her kitty.
But there’s a massive landmark that anticipates her gracious presence. She needs to bat for only four more ODI innings to bring up her 150th ODI appearance for South Africa. Knowing her penchant for scoring runs when most needed, Mignon du Preez would like to mark the special occasion with a knock to remember.
In the last world cup, circa 2017, it was Du Preez made an unbeaten 76 (off 95) during her team’s heartbreaking loss to England that saw van Niekerk’s girls crash out of the mega tournament.
Let’s hope this time around, the Proteas can go a long way forward.
Together with Suzie Bates, Sophie Devine is one among the smash sisters of Women’s world cricket and boy has she come a long way.
The current captain of the White Ferns, Devine’s prowess with both bat and ball is emblematic of the dangerous tag that the New Zealand team contends with.
What’s important is to note that the big-hitting right hander is just eighty two (82) runs away from registering 3,000 international runs for a team whose jersey she adorns with pride and purpose.
But there’s yet more to why the 2022 Women’s World Cup holds such great relevance to Sophie Devine, who back in the day in the 2013 World Cup campaign, harrowed the Proteas women with a splending century.
Where it comes to the prowess with the ball, Devine needs no more than fourteen wickets to clinch her 100th ODI scalp.
Should her bat do the talking and the ball deliver some music, the 2022 Women’s World Cup could well belong to one of the most passionate pursuers of excellence from New Zealand.
For someone who’s already amassed 108 ODI wickets from ninety two contests, there’s hardly a doubt about the talent of the wily and foxy Sune Luus. A young and able leader, someone primed to be the figurehead for one of the most exuberant and energetic of all women’s international sides, Sune Luus brings great spark to the Proteas fire.
And she may want to do that in a rather special way given she’s closing in on a major international milestone.
Luus, 26, needs to play just eight more ODIs to mark her 100th game for South Africa. But for that to happen, one thing is for certain- the Proteas women will have to play excellently and reach, at least, the finals of the 2022 Women’s World Cup.
Having said that, the ever hungry talent will also be mindful of yet another statistic she’d like to focus on. Thus far, she’s never scored an ODI hundred in her career with a personal best of 83. So can Sune Luus do what’s gone unachieved so far and do it in a bit of style?
We shall have to wait and see.
The last time around that the Women’s world cup was played, Aussie Meghan Schutt emerged with fifteen wickets from the tournament, the most by any bowler. Half a decade down the line, while equalling the great right arm medium pacer’s tally seems a pretty handy challenge, one cannot rule out the fact that the others may not be able to outperform the clever bowler.
And a name among the top-ranked bowlers that can truly excel with producing some magic with the ball is India’s Rajeshwari Gayakwad.
Clearly, the most economical and effective among the Indian spinners, a prestigious troika that also includes Poonam and Radha Yadav, Gayakwad’s personal form of lately has been sublime.
When the Proteas women came calling in 2021 in a white-ball series that eventually saw the Luus-led girls upstage hosts India, Gayakwad was simply unplayable.
Interestingly, she needs nineteen more wickets to register a century of ODI wickets. It’s going to take her some undoing of batters, but hey- never say never in international cricket. The miserly bowler contests with an ODI economy of 3.5! Beat that.
Ice cold and unperturbed, there’s an air of invincibility about Beaumont.
In the 2017 World Cup, there was no stopping Tammy Beaumont, who compiled 410 runs. Clearly one of the most dangerous batters in the women’s game, Beaumont is also a top order wrecker for many a dependable bowling attack in the world.
Interestingly, the last time around, she notched up a massive 148 in the World Cup, which was one of the several tons compiled by her contemporaries in England.
This time around, there’s a plausible chance for the soon-to-be 31 batter to go big. After all, all that Beaumont needs to reach 3,000 ODI runs are just fifty one more. Frankly, given her penchant for big run-making that should not take more than an inning or at the best, two.