Star women ready to show their mettle at World Cup
THE Women’s World Cup has grown exponentially since its inception in 1973 – two years prior to the inaugural men’s event – with the winners’ prize money also skyrocketing to $2 million from $200 000 four years ago in India.
However, it is not just the cash on offer that has improved, but also the quality of cricket and star players across all the teams on display. We profile the big names to look out for over the coming weeks in England. Any cricketer who’s dubbed the “The Megastar” comes with seriously street cred. And that’s exactly the respect Lanning is reserved in the world of women’s cricket.
The world’s No 1 batter on the ICC ODI rankings table, Lanning has a well- earned reputation for putting opposition attacks to the sword. At only 25 years old, she is already the first women in ODI history to register 10 centuries.
Her strengths are the ability to hit even good balls for four, while maintaining a straight bat without resorting to agricultural slog-sweeps. Lanning has the extra responsibility of leading Australia’s defence of their World Cup title in this tournament, which could have an impact on her batting.
However, for Lanning it is all about following the processes and the result will take care of itself.
“You’re motivated to do as well as you can, it might be a different challenge to what you’ve had before and you want to deliver as well as you can in that,” Lanning told www.icccricket.com.
“I’m in good form, I enjoy scoring runs, but it’s important to take that forward into the competition. I don’t really look at averages too much, it’s more about winning games and batting in the top order gives me the chance to bat for a long time in 50-over cricket. Scoring 80s and hundreds is what you need to be doing.” Like their male counterparts at the ICC Champions Trophy earlier this month, the Proteas women’s team enter their World Cup with the leading ODI bowler in the format.
They will hope that Kapp has a better tournament than Kagiso Rabada did – he claimed just one wicket in three matches. Kapp is, however, a genuine all-rounder that contributes with the bat along with her seam bowling.
In fact, her performance in both disciplines over the next few weeks will have a huge bearing on the Proteas’ progression at the World Cup.
The Port Elizabeth star has good memories of the last World Cup in India, especially South Africa’s first opponents on Sunday, after stroking her maiden ODI century against Pakistan in Cuttack back in 2013. Her new-ball partnership with the “fastest bowler in the world” Shabnim Ismail should also be one of the main features of this tournament. Arguably the most recognisable player of the women’s circuit, Perry is a blockbusting cricketer with both bat and ball. Initially, the spearhead of the Australian attack when she debuted as a 17-year-old, Perry’s batting has grown into her stronger suit with her contributions in the middle-order crucial to Australia’s overall game plan.
After a frustrating summer punctuated by a series of injuries, Perry is ready and fullyfit to take on the world again and will be looking to get that maiden ODI century over the coming weeks. This could be on the cards with Perry looking to expand her game.
“There’s a few things I can introduce, in terms of the shots I play, the selection of shots to balls and where I hit it, and at the same time just being conscious of it as well and learning exactly where and when is the right time to put the foot down and up the scoring rate if I need to,” Perry said.
A genuine competitor on the field, Perry showed her character in Australia’s last World Cup final in India when injured she virtually limped in to complete her spell to finish with the incredible figures of 3/19.
Like most batters, Satterthwaite has thrived in the latter stages of her career using her all her experience and knowledge gained over a 10-year international career.
The past couple of years, though, have been particularly fruitful for the 30-year-old from Canterbury, with the southpaw having scored 853 runs in 15 ODI’s at an average of 85.30 in 2016.
She raised the bar even further in 2017 with a women’s world record of four centuries in a row (137 not out v Pakistan; 115 not out v Pakistan; 123 v Pakistan and 102 not out v Australia) with all coming at strike-rate in excess of a 100.
Nicknamed “Branch” – a reference to her height and lean frame – the White Ferns is all set to light up #WCWC17. Along with batting stalwart Mithali Raj, Goswami forms the heart and soul of Indian women’s cricket.
The lanky pace bowler has been one of the foremost pioneers in ensuring women’s cricket has earned its rightful place as part of the subcontinent country’s cricket obsession.
At 34 years old now – Goswami debuted in 2002 when still a teenager – this along with Raj is likely to be her last crack at World Cup glory and what a fitting triumph it would be for one of the game’s premier players to exit with a winner’s medal.
An expressive character, Goswami leaves everything out of the field for her team and will look to spur on her younger teammates with her passion-filled performances.
Goswami’s legacy is ensured with her 185 wickets placing the right-arm seamer right the top of the table of most wickets in ODI history. The Windies are sweating over the fitness of their captain Taylor, who is suffering from ankle injury that kept her out of the warm-up game defeat to South Africa mid-week.
Taylor is, of course, an integral part of the West Indies side, having led them to ICC World T20 glory last year in India.
She is also the leading ODI all-rounder on the ICC’S official table and will be expected to lead from the front with both and ball. In true Caribbean style, the 26-year-old is explosive batter that hits the ball hard upfront, especially in the powerplay overs.
STAR PERFORMERS: Australia’s Meg Lanning, left, and South Africa’s Marizanne Kapp.