It was 2009, when England Women’s Cricket Team won their third World Cup title, and a little girl named Alice Capsey saw a dream of playing for the England team. In 2009, the nearly five-year-old child took up a bat and began to walk on the path of her dream.
From watching Sarah Taylor, legendary former England batter on TV (and being a student of her) to playing against her in the Hundred, Capsey has come a long way and also just getting started.
In the third T20I of England’s ongoing limited over series against India’s women’s squad, a teenager scored 38 not out to seal the series. Alice Capsey was the name of the girl. Let’s learn more about the ambitious 18-year-old.
Capsey was chosen to represent the Oval Invincibles in the Hundred’s debut season. The 16-year-old girl had to ask her mother for permission to play at a higher level. She not only represented the Invincibles, but she was also the youngest person to ever score a fifty in The Hundred. She made her T20I debut against South Africa earlier this year, and now she has received her first ODI call-up for the series against India.
Many players are retiring or taking indefinite breaks these days, including Australia’s captain, Meg Lanning, and Nat Sciver, for mental health reasons. At this point in the cricket world, younger folks with fresh brains and a desire to represent their country are the need of the hour.
In women’s cricket, we often find debutants of teenage. Ellyse Perry, Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Laura Wolvaardt, and many other stars made their debuts as teenagers.
However, with women’s cricket becoming increasingly competitive, making an international debut is difficult unless one is exceptional. And that’s exactly what Alice is, as she made her debut in one of the best competitions in contemporary cricket, The Hundred, at the age of 16 in one of the best tournaments in modern cricket.
How did she earn her maiden call-up?
Fundamentally speaking, there could be no better place than domestic cricket to learn the fundamentals of the game. For it teaches a player how to deal with pressure. To compete in at international level, one must have a sufficient number of domestic games under her belt, which Alice does and ready to contribute for the England team.
Capsey, who was born in Surrey, made her County debut in 2019 and took three wickets against Hampshire. She also had a role in Surrey’s first Royal London Cup victory in 2020. In the Women’s Twenty20 Cup, she demonstrated the importance she can bring to the team by becoming Surrey’s highest run-scorer and wicket-taker.
Her entry into the Hundred tournament must have been surreal, as she struck her maiden fifty while opening the batting for Oval Invincibles against the London Spirits at Lord’s, home of cricket. Her team, the Oval Invincibles, won the Hundred’s inaugural season, with Alice Capsey ranking third on the list of most valuable players.
The right-hander’s smartness with both bat and ball is a positive for this England team. Perhaps it was too soon for her to enter the realm of international cricket, or perhaps she might live the dream life of every cricketer i.e., to win the World Cup for the country.
Capsey shines brightly on the international stage
Alice Capsey made her international debut against South Africa just before the Commonwealth Games. England women’s team had a pretty disappointing CWG 2022. Not Danielle Wyatt, not Amy Jones, and not Nat Sciver, but Capsey became the highest run-scorer from the English team. Surrey cricketer made 137 runs in five games.
The youngster’s next challenge was a T20I series against India Women. Alice scored 74 runs in the three-match series and was not out in two of them. While chasing 128, England had a strong opening partnership of 70 runs, with Dunkley scoring 49. India took a couple of quick wickets, slowing the scoring rate. But Alice wasn’t the one who likes to defend, she played her aggressive shots and won the series for the English women, scoring 38 not out.
With Katherine Brunt and Nat Sciver unavailable, the team management gave Alice Capsey and Freya Kemp their first ODI call-up. At this age, both Alice and Freya will amass experience by competing against top-tier teams. At least, that is what one hopes.
Moreover, even as it may have been for just a few games given Jhulan Goswami was on the last legs of her stellar career, Alice and Freya did get an opportunity to play against a colossus of women’s cricket and learn from one of the game’s finest.
Freya, a 17-year-old left-arm medium seamer, has also been given the opportunity to express herself against the difficult side. She was the only positive from England’s second T20I defeat, scoring 51 off 37 deliveries. With these girls carrying the light and quality they have; the future of the English women’s team looks brighter. Wishing them a successful career and hope they break some records or stumps.