Bowl fast? Check. Score an Unbeaten Double Century? Check. Take Diving Catches? Check.
How about a curling kick at the back of the net as your FIFA World Cup GOAL?
Write 5 Books?
Yes, this has all been done. By a single person.
Her name is Ellyse Perry.
Test match portrait (far left), Ellyse Perry bowling (center-left), playing soccer for Canberra United (center-right), and philanthropy work (far-right)
Ellyse Perry is an Australian cricketer and footballer, who also has a passion for writing and philanthropy on the side. Already being called one of the greatest all-rounders and players of all-time, Perry is just 29.
Her contribution to women’s cricket has already been immense.
The Memorable Debut
Ellyse Perry became the youngest Australian to play cricket at the age of 16 when she debuted against New Zealand, picking up 2-37 as well as 19 runs, batting at #9.
Only 15 days later, she would debut in her first international football match against Hong Kong, scoring a goal in the 2nd minute of the match.
2nd minute. Her primary playing position is supposed to be defender…Digest that for a minute.
It was her Player of the Match performance in the T20 debut a few months later, though, that caught the cricketing world’s attention. Quickfire 29* (25), including a huge six at the MCG, a 4-wicket haul, and even a run-out on follow through.
When the commentator asked, “Is there anything you tried that did not come off?—you had sixes, runs, wickets, back-flick runouts,” she responded by saying, “There were a couple of wides in there, so definitely some room for improvement there.”
The T20 debut was only a sign of things to come. Although she started as a fast-bowler who was a handy lower-order batter, her batting has risen through the years, most notably with the 213* in the 2017 Ashes.
Here is just a glimpse of her brilliant career so far:
Tests: 8 Matches, 624 runs, best of 213*, 78.00 average, 100s-2/ 50s-2
ODIs: 112 Matches, 3022 runs, best of 112*, 52.00 average, 100s-2/ 50s-27
T20Is: 120 Matches, 1218 runs, best of 60*, average 28.32, 50s-4
Tests: 8 Matches, 31 wickets, 18.19 average, Best Innings – 6/32,Best Match – 9/70
ODIs: 112 Matches, 152 wickets, 24.29 average, Best – 7/22, 1 4-for, 3 5-fors
T20Is: 120 Matches, 114 wickets, 19.37 average, Best – 4/12, 4 4-fors
The Moment of Glory – Part I
A World Cup is the greatest stage to perform in. It is the dream stage for any sportsperson. The Final of a World Cup is an even better platform. That is exactly where Ellyse Perry would shine.
2010 Women’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies, New Zealand versus Australia in the final. Australia were restricted to a meager 106/8. At the highest pressure, her bowling figures were 3-0-8-3. She was given the responsibility of defending the final over. 7 needed off 2, and she kept her nerve to seal Australia their maiden T20 World Cup in a thrilling encounter.
Another day, another Player of the Match performance by Ellyse Perry.
The Moment of Glory – Part II, III, IV, V, and VI
Being part of one World Cup team is a memorable accomplishment. Playing an integral role in six World Cup winning campaigns is just superhuman.
Ellyse Perry has accomplished so much already that we had to create a separate section devoted just for her remarkable achievements. From representing Australia in international cricket to the Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash, she has played a starring role everywhere.
- Youngest Australian to play cricket – at the age of 16 (2008)
- Only Australian to play both the FIFA and ICC World Cups
- Only Australian to play over 100 T20I matches
- Player of the Match in the Final – (2010 Women’s World T20)
- 2010, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2020 – T20 World Cup winner, 2013 – ODI World Cup winner
- Player of the Series – The Ashes (2014, 2015)
- ICC Women Cricketer of the Year (2017)
- 3rd Bowler to 150 wickets in WODIs
- Belinda Clark Award, Australia’s highest award for women cricketers (2016, 2018)
- Player of the Tournament – Women’s Big Bash League (2018-19)
Speaking of Big Bash, against the Melbourne Renegades, she opened the batting, steadied a collapse and carried the bat with an unbeaten fifty, opened the bowling, impacted run-outs, took a catch, and sealed the match with a six in a Super Over.
Once again, what can Ellyse Perry not do?
She is a captain’s dream to have in the team. She is Australia’s opening bowler, death bowler, a fielder that can turn matches around, a batter who can at steadily and safeguard from collapse, or a finisher who can hit quick runs at the back-end of the innings.
My personal favorite shot of hers is— the swipe down the ground for six.
Still in the prime of her career, Ellyse Perry has several years of cricket left in her. She has the potential to break records in all departments, but she has already created a legacy for herself. A renowned athlete and a star, she has also made a name for herself as a media personality by appearing on numerous radio shows, interviews, and book launches.
Four out of her five books are children’s books, Rocket Pocket, Magic Feet, Winning The Touch, and Double Time, in addition to her autobiography, Perspective. The children’s series is one of the ways she has been inspiring the next generation of young girls to take up sport and climb new heights.
In an interview with Jaymie Hooper at Body+Soul, she said,”I know how much sport has given me and I think if kids can turn on the TV and see other girls playing cricket and decide they want to do it, too, then I’ve served my purpose.”
What Can We Learn From Ellyse Perry?
She had to give up professional soccer in 2015, having last playing internationally in 2013. She ended up with 3 goals, including that World Cup goal against Sweden. Yet, just by pursuing two different sports and excelling at both of them consistently for half a decade itself sets a new benchmark for Australian sport and athletes around the world.
So, what can we learn from Ellyse Perry? Well, we can just see what some of her teammates’ think:
“There is actually she cannot do….She is probably one of the hardest workers I have ever seen” – Nicola Carey
“What makes her so good is she can bowl 10 overs, then go out and make a 100…[It takes] stamina, concentration, work ethic to be able to do that” – Nicole Bolton
“She is continuing to get better….Adding something new to her game….Always improving” – Meg Lanning
Ellyse Perry’s journey shows that by working hard, continuing improving different skill sets, always having a team first attitude, and by dreaming big—nothing is impossible.
What Does the Future Hold?
Ellyse Perry’s biggest influence might well be on the next generation of female athletes.
Following the 2017 Women’s ODI World Cup, the popularity of the women’s game grew exponentially. The movement to grow women’s cricket culminated with the 2020 T20 World Cup Final in Australia, which was held during the International Women’s Day- March 8, 2020.
A record 86,174 people attended it. Watch this video to relive the importance of the day. The only bittersweet part of it – Ellyse Perry was injured a few games ago and could not make the final team. Nevertheless, she has been a major part in popularizing the game and has taken women’s cricket to new heights.
That was the last game of women’s cricket before the pandemic hit.
Fingers crossed that the game can recover from COVID-19. We can just hope that the Australia-New Zealand series, due to begin September 26, will go smoothly with players safety in place, cricket can resume back in Australia, and we can watch what Ellyse Perry achieves next.
The Videos – Ellyse Perry At Her Best
- Perry’s Double Century
- Six-Wicket Haul – Watch it For the Bowleds
- “How To Set Up a Batter”
- 25 Questions with ESPNCricinfo
Sources: Ellyse Perry website, cricket.com.au