At the head of the field in our all-rounder rankings is Australia’s Ellyse Perry. Though only 26 years old, Perry has already sealed her place in history as probably the last person ever to play both football and cricket at the very top international levels of those games – the professional commitments required of both sports are now just too big for it to be likely that anyone will ever achieve this again.
Indeed, Perry herself has basically been frozen-out of international football in recent years for her refusal to commit to it as her one sport; but the Mathilda’s loss has been the Southern Stars gain, as Perry has marched up the batting rankings to become a true all-rounder – having made her debut back in 2007 at number 9, over the past year or so, with Lanning dropping down to 3, she has come in at 4, where she averages 111 in ODIs in 2016, whilst continuing to chip-in with the ball. TL;DR: She’s quite good!
At No. 2, Suzie Bates has continued to show the form that made her Wisden’s Woman Cricketer of the Year in 2015 – she also had a spectacular domestic season in England over the summer, winning the County Championship, T20 Cup, and the Super League – and her ability to adapt to English conditions, perhaps a little more adeptly than Perry did in her Super League stint, could be the key for New Zealand in next year’s World Cup.
England captain Heather Knight, at No. 3, has always been considered primarily a batsman, and indeed only starting bowling regularly at international level when a hamstring injury forced her a couple of years ago to adapt her medium-paced seamers to off-spin.
I was there the day that Knight first unleashed her off-spinners for Berkshire after returning from her injury, and with little change to her action, I remember messaging a friend and saying: “Heather is back bowling… but really, really slowly!” Later that afternoon, I was messaging again: “Heather’s got a 5-fer!”
This impact was soon also reflected at international level, and though she has been bowling a bit less recently, over the course of the Women’s International Championship her all-round contribution has been a key part of why England have won 70% of their matches in the competition.
Further down the list, we see a number of other players like Knight, who we also tend not to think of as all-rounders, but who have nonetheless made an all-round impact.
South Africa’s “official” all-rounder is new captain Dane van Niekerk; but it is actually “bowler” Marizanne Kapp who has made the bigger all-round contribution.
West Indies’ Deandra Dottin has the reputation as a destructive batsman, but whilst her batting has perhaps not quite been what it once was recently, she has made herself very handy with the ball.
Another “bowler” – South African leg-spinner Sune Luus – the leading wicket-taker in the world in 2016 – has forced her way up the order to open against Australia in their on-going series – scoring two 50s and earning the title of all-rounder in the process.
|1. Ellyse Perry (AUS)||985||23|
|2. Suzie Bates (NZ)||978||16|
|3. Heather Knight (ENG)||642||29|
|4. Stafanie Taylor (WI)||857||16|
|5. Amy Satterthwaite (NZ)||763||16|
|6. Hayley Matthews (WI)||478||22|
|7. Marizanne Kapp (SA)||418||23|
|8. Deandra Dottin (WI)||592||17|
|9. Nat Sciver (ENG)||533||11|
|10. Dane van Niekerk (SA)||460||17|
|11. Shikha Pandey (IND)||239||17|
|12. Sophie Devine (NZ)||431||11|
|13. Sana Mir (PAK)||333||20|
|14. Jhulan Goswami (IND)||203||17|
|15. Sune Luus (SA)||238||23|
|16. Asmavia Iqbal (PAK)||249||14|
Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate * Wickets / Economy – Min 200 Runs + 10 Wickets