Gone are the days when Cricket was the sole domain of the Men. In this era of women empowerment and feminism, women are proudly wielding the bat and taking charge on the field. With growing awareness and social connectivity, some of the sports best and brightest are basking in the attention and praise that’s being showered on them.
Granted, there’s still a long way to go before an India versus Pakistan Women’s match garners even a fraction of the interest the Men’s match generates but these cricketers are proudly standing shoulder to shoulder with their masculine counterparts in terms of interest generated online.
Top Five Female Cricketers in 2016:
We present to you five female cricketers who are leading the roost in terms of social media presence. They are the most mentioned female cricketers on Facebook.
1. Sana Mir – Pakistan
She leads her team in ODI’s and she’s the former T20 captain. This 30 years old Pakistani national is presently ranked sixth in the list of most illustrious ODI bowlers. She had played her first ODI on 28th of December, 2005 against the Sri Lankan Women’s team.
She has done a lot for the game by daring to follow her passion and changing the perception about Women’s cricket in Pakistan during the 11 years she has been playing for the national team. During her incumbency, she has led her team to two gold medals in Asian Games 2010 and 2014.
She’s the first woman who has received the PCB Women Cricketer of the Year Award in 2013. Although her college didn’t have a Cricket team, she captained the basketball team and the swimming team; these experiences gave her the confidence to lead. She’s the most mentioned female cricketer on Facebook this year, and she deserves all the adulation she’s receiving. Hats off!
2. Jahanara Alam – Bangladesh
This 23 years old right-arm medium pacer is the captain of her team. She had debuted against Ireland Women’s team on 26th November 2011. She was a member of the team that won a silver medal against the Chinese National Women’s Cricket team at the 2010 Asian Games.
3. Stafanie Taylor – West Indies
Stafanie Roxann Taylor is a 24 year Jamaican Cricketer who leads the West Indies Women’s Cricket team. Since her debut on 24th June 2008 she has played over 80 matches for her team. She was commemorated as the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the year in 2011, becoming the first West Indian to receive this prestigious award. In the World T20 Tournament held this year which her team won, she was the highest run getter and was declared the player of the series. She is the only Jamaican in the squad.
After their grand success, it’s been declared that her former school, Eltham High School is going to honour her by renaming their Cricket Ground as the Stafanie Taylor Oval.
4. Mithali Raj – India
Mithali Dorai Raj is the captain of the Indian Women’s Cricket team. This 33-year-old who was born in Jodhpur had debuted on 26th June 1999 against the Ireland Women’s team when she was only 17 years old. She had scored 114 runs in that match and remained not out!
She had led her team to the finals in the Women’s Cricket World Cup Tournament in 2005 where India was defeated by Australia. She was awarded the prestigious Arjuna award in 2003. She’s also the second woman to have scored 5000 runs in One Day Internationals. She received the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award, in 2015.
She advocates pay parity for both the genders. Her attitude and calm demeanour are showcased by her opinion on the difference in salary commanded by Men and Women.
“As for me personally, I feel the game is the same, the rules are the same. But yes, when you see how many people turn up to see men’s game because they look up at it as an entertainment package. A lot of people come to watch, so the revenue input is more than women’s cricket,” Mithali had said when asked if women cricketers deserve equal pay package. She added, “People are still trying to catch up with women’s cricket. So, maybe down the lane, in a year or two, when women’s cricket does very well and starts attracting more crowds, then I feel it deserves same (pay) or at par with men’s cricket.”
5. Meg Lanning – Australia
Meghann Moira Meg Lanning is the opening batsman and captain of the Australian Women’s Cricket team. She had played her first ODI against England on 5th January 2011.
On 27th March 2014, she had scored 126 runs off 65 balls in a match against Ireland in the 2014 ICC Women’s Wold T20 tournament, which is the highest individual innings score in a Women’s International match. She was crowned the best female ODI Cricketer of the year and T20 Cricketer of the year by ICC in 2015 and 2014 respectively. She’s was also named as Wisden’s Leading Woman Cricketer in the world in 2015.
She feels that for women’s cricket to gain equal prominence as the men’s game, T20 is the way forward. She thinks a separate IPL for women will be a quantum leap forward.