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The International Cricket Council has announced the first five players selected as 100% Cricket Superstars ahead of a historic month for women’s cricket, culminating in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Sophie Ecclestone (England), Amelia Kerr (New Zealand), Hayley Matthews (West Indies), Shafali Verma (India) and Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa) are the first crop of what will ultimately be a 100% Cricket Superstars squad that fans can pick from to decide on a final XI.
Here, we feature England superstar Sophie Ecclestone.
It’s hard to believe that a player who started her career as a fast bowler is now ruling the roost in both formats as a left-arm spinner.
It has just been six years since Sophie Ecclestone, all 17 years of age, made her international debut. After an initial period of struggle where she found it difficult to break into the team, Ecclestone soon became one of the vital cogs of the England team and is now one of the first names on the teamsheet.
Ecclestone got the first taste of the world stage in the 2018 T20 World Cup. She played a crucial role in England’s run to the final, picking up five wickets in as many matches at a miserly economy rate of 5.38.
Over the years, she has made a name for herself not just as a prolific wicket-taker but also as someone who can put the brakes on scoring at any stage of the game.
– No.1 in Women’s T20I Bowler Rankings
– No.1 in Women’s ODI Bowler Rankings
At just 20 years of age, Ecclestone had reached the top of the bowlers’ rankings in T20Is and three years later is at the pinnacle of the rankings for bowlers in both the white-ball formats.
After witnessing England win the title from the sidelines as a net bowler in 2017, Ecclestone demonstrated tremendous skill in her very first 50-over World Cup. Though England fell short at the final hurdle, the left-arm spinner had a tournament to remember, finishing as the highest wicket-taker with 21 wickets in nine matches.
In the game against South Africa, she recorded figures of 6/36, the third-best figures in Women’s Cricket World Cup history.
In just over six years of international cricket, Ecclestone has already played more than 100 games for England and has her best years in front of her.
Frankie Mackay says
“Sophie Ecclestone hasn’t been in the international game for a long time but she undoubtedly is the best white-ball bowler in the world.
“She takes wickets for fun. No one can get her off the block – she is so economical, she’s got so much control and you think at 23 years of age, how can she be this good and where is the ceiling for her?
“What I really love about her is she wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s not afraid to show that she’s passionate and show emotion. When her side needs a wicket, it’s Ecclestone that gets thrown the ball and that’s a role she thrives on.”
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