Laura Wolvaardt

South Africas Laura Wolvaardt fields. ICC Womenís Cricket World Cup 2022 cricket match between Australia and South Africa at the Basin Reserve, Wellington New Zealand, 22 March 2022. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz / BackpagePix

Laura Wolvaardt named among ICC’s 100% Cricket superstars

The ICC has announced the first five players selected as 100% Cricket Superstars including Laura Wolvaardt of the Proteas.

Laura Wolvaardt

South Africas Laura Wolvaardt fields. ICC Womenís Cricket World Cup 2022 cricket match between Australia and South Africa at the Basin Reserve, Wellington New Zealand, 22 March 2022. Copyright photo: John Cowpland / www.photosport.nz / BackpagePix

The International Cricket Council has announced the first five players selected as 100% Cricket Superstars including Laura Wolvaardt, 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.

ICC’s 100% Cricket superstars

The entertaining quintet represents a bright future for a women’s game that continues to grow in popularity following record-breaking digital and broadcast audiences at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.

“100% Cricket Superstars celebrates the best talent in the women’s game as part of the ICC’s ongoing 100% Cricket campaign during a period that sees some of the sport’s most significant events take place,” said Wasim Khan, ICC General Manager – Cricket.

“With women’s cricket making its inaugural appearance at the Commonwealth Games later this month, we will also host the first ever ICC Women’s U19 T20 World Cup in January which is immediately followed by the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023.

“The players selected today epitomise the future of women’s cricket and it’s going to be exciting to build up to a fan-led vote to narrow down what will be an amazing squad into an XI that I’m sure cricket fans around the world would love to watch!”

The first 100% Cricket Superstars inductees were selected with the input of the ICC Women’s Cricket Committee.

Laura Wolvaardt

India Laura Wolvaardt
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA – JANUARY 23: Laura Wolvaardt of South Africa during the 2nd Womens ODI match between Momentum Proteas and Pakistan Women at Hollywoodbets Kingsmead Stadium on January 23, 2021 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Darren Stewart/Gallo Images)

32 runs at 16.00 in one Test; 3039 runs at 45.35 in 77 ODIs; 618 runs at 26.86 in 36 T20Is

Already with more than 3000 ODI runs to her name, the sky’s the limit for South African batting sensation Laura Wolvaardt.

Wolvaardt was a natural fit in ODIs, with 30 scores of over 50 in just 76 innings since she made her debut in 2016. She has evolved in the T20I format too, adding power to a refined game centred on control and expert strokeplay.

Wolvaardt’s trademark cover drive is a glowing image of the women’s game, though it is the array of shots around the wicket that sets the right-hander apart.

Only three players eclipsed Wolvaardt’s 433 runs at the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 in New Zealand, though the trio all benefited from playing an extra match at the tournament.

Shafali Verma

242 Test runs at 60.5 in two Tests; 473 ODI runs at 29.56 in 17 ODIs; 753 T20I runs at 24.29 in 32 T20Is

The youngest player to debut for India in international cricket, and the youngest half-centurion, Shafali Verma made a seamless transition to the highest level of the game.

A dashing opening batter capable of clearing the ropes with ease, Verma can take the match away from her opposition in a matter of moments, her power separating her from her peers. 

For all the power and aggression though, it’d be remiss not to acknowledge Verma’s early success in the long format of the game. Averaging over 60 across her four Test innings, Verma has shown a maturity to bat long periods in trying and foreign conditions.

Sophie Ecclestone

17 wickets at 37.7 in five Tests; 76 wickets at 21.06 in 47 ODIs; 68 wickets at 13.28 in 50 T20Is

A pivotal figure in the England team, and with over 150 international wickets to her name, it’s crazy to think that Sophie Ecclestone is still just 23 years of age.

The No.1 bowler in both the T20I and ODI MRF Tyres bowling rankings, the left-arm orthodox spinner probes with a nagging line and length, tying opposing batters down.

Since her Test debut in 2017, no player has taken more Test wickets than Ecclestone’s 17. In T20Is since her debut in 2016, only two bowlers have taken more wickets than her 68. 

Remarkably, her peak is still to come.

Hayley Matthews

1764 runs at 27.13 and 78 wickets at 24.79 in 69 ODIs; 1055 runs at 17.88 and 58 wickets at 17.93 in 61 T20Is

The newly-appointed West Indies captain, 24-year-old Hayley Matthews is the past, present and future of her international team.

Both the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker for her side in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022, Matthews was also Player of the Final at the ICC 2016 T20 World Cup in a dramatic win over Australia. Making 66 off 45 balls just days after her 18th birthday, Matthews made quite an impression in her first global tournament.

Already third on the West Indies all-time list for runs in both white-ball formats, Matthews is on track to break records. She carries the West Indies torch.

Amelia Kerr

1240 runs at 38.75 and 76 wickets at 27.00 in 53 ODIs; 234 runs at 15.60 and 41 wickets at 21.85 in 42 T20Is

It’s going to take a special effort for someone to take away the world record for the youngest international double centurion from all-rounder Amelia Kerr.

After scoring 232* against Ireland at just 17 years and 243 days in an ODI in Dublin in 2018, Kerr rounded out the day with a five-wicket haul for good measure, becoming the only player to achieve the double in international cricket.

The 21-year-old Kerr is capable of ticking things along when early wickets fall, or attacking when her side is in the ascendancy. With the ball, Kerr has every leg-spinner’s delivery in her arsenal. Mixing her pace cannily, Kerr’s wrong’un has also beaten a host of players around the world.

The record books will likely be re-written again as Kerr continues to set the benchmark in the international game.