As we observed when looking at the overall Batting and Bowling Rankings, the tendency of sides to prioritise the recruitment of big-hitting batsmen when selecting their overseas players has meant that young English talent has had more opportunities with the ball than with the bat – non-internationals (who are by definition English-qualified – the rules essentially require this) bowled 35% of the overs in KSL2018 but batted just 15%.
Especially regarding the batting therefore, these stats are then very much a reflection of the opportunities a player had, rather than necessarily how “good” she is.
Topping the Non-International Batting Rankings is Thea Brookes, who was a consistent performer for the Diamonds in the middle order with 4 scores over 20, including an impressive 45 off 36 balls v the Vipers.
At No. 2 in the Batting Rankings Eve Jones scored more runs than Brookes, but the unfortunate truth is that Jones seems to have been left-behind by professionalism – a Strike Rate of just 85 just doesn’t cut it these days, in this age of power hitting.
Of the England prospects, batting-wise Sophia Dunkley is probably the closest – popping up in both the Batting and Bowling Rankings, though she was probably one big score short of booking a ticket to the West Indies for the World T20.
At the top of the Non-International Bowling Rankings is of course Kirstie Gordon, who topped the overall Bowling Rankings with 17 wickets. Gordon’s route to England representation is currently blocked by Sophie Ecclestone and Alex Hartley – a classic case of why we really need professionalism at the next level down, so she can stay in the game full time and develop, rather than slipping behind as the likes of Eve Jones have done.
|1. Thea Brookes (Diamonds) ||9||139||121|
|2. Eve Jones (Thunder) ||9||168||85|
|3. Ellie Threlkeld (Thunder) ||10||138||99|
|4. Sophia Dunkley (Stars) ||11||98||120|
|5. Georgie Boyce (Thunder) ||9||98||88|
|6. Georgia Adams (Lightning) ||11||69||93|
|7. Paige Scholfield (Vipers) ||8||36||129|
|8. Natalie Brown (Thunder) ||5||34||117|
|9. Maia Bouchier (Vipers) ||4||40||93|
|10. Sophie Luff (Storm) ||11||36||97|
Batting Ranking = Runs * Strike Rate; [X] = Overall Rank
|1. Kirstie Gordon (Lightning) ||11||17||6.05|
|2. Linsey Smith (Lightning) ||11||11||6.40|
|3. Katie Levick (Diamonds) ||9||11||7.00|
|4. Emma Lamb (Thunder) ||10||11||8.06|
|5. Freya Davies (Storm) ||11||8||7.72|
|6. Claire Nicholas (Storm) ||10||7||7.03|
|7. Fi Morris (Vipers) ||7||7||8.01|
|8. Sophia Dunkley (Stars) ||11||6||8.00|
|9. Maddy Villiers (Stars) ||11||5||6.92|
|10. Danielle Gibson (Storm) ||11||5||7.41|
Bowling Ranking = Wickets / Economy
I’ve said it before, but I really do wonder if Thea Brookes is the one that got away, particularly in T20 cricket. Over the three seasons (albeit in a small “sample size” in the first two) she has consistently out-performed younger, more “hotly tipped” prospects, despite batting at 6 or lower until the last few matches of this season – a position in the order which restricts anyone’s chances to make an impact in such a short game.