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Why Ellyse Perry is so special

21st January, 2019
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21st January, 2019
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If you want a sensational dig with the bat, a jewel of a delivery to take a vital wicket, make a very difficult catch look easy, a bullet-arm run out, or a captaincy decision that turns a game, Ellyse Perry covers the lot – and then some.

Perry is only 28, but has been an international for 12 years, making a habit of setting records that can’t be broken.

At 16, Perry became an international cricketer, and a month later a soccer international, becoming the first person to achieve the feat, and play in cricket and soccer World Cups.

Last November, Perry became the first to play 100 T20 internationals, and last week the first to crack the 2000-run Big Bash barrier.

Australia's Ellyse Perry bats during the Women's T20 Triangular Series.

Australia’s Ellyse Perry bats during the Women’s T20 Triangular Series. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

Those achievements are set in concrete.

In her last year at Pymble Ladies College, on Sydney’s upper North Shore, Perry was the sports captain, the cricket captain, and the athletics captain, but still found time for soccer, golf, tennis, and touch football.

But for the sake of this salute, we’ll stick to cricket, and especially batting.

Perry has the highest Test score by an Australian of 213* at North Sydney Oval against England in 2017, pipping Karen Rolton’s 209* against the West Indies, in 2004.

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Perry has never scored a ODI ton, but has been stuck in the 90s four times, three unbeaten.

In chronological order:

90* – batting five, game won.
90 – bowled.
93* – game won.
95* – game won.

And much the same story in T20 internationals, with her highest scores:

55* – batting two, game won.
55* – batting four, game won.
55* – after 20 overs.

Perry’s latest coup, becoming the first to crack the 2000-run Big Bash barrier, is all part of the large contribution the women cricketers are playing in the overall Australian scene.

Comparing the career-best of the women, with best of the men, in ten Big Bash categories:

Most runs:
Ellyse Perry (Sixers) – 2110.
Michael Klinger (Scorchers) – 1917.

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Most innings:
Klinger – 70.
Perry – 60.

Most not outs:
Perry – 17.
Chris Lynn (Heat) – 11.

Best averages:
Usman Khawaja (Thunder) – 50.31.
Meg Lanning (Stars and Scorchers) – 50.03.

Most balls faced:
Perry – 2021.
Klinger – 1619.

Best strike rate:
Lynn – 151.89.
Alyssa Healy (Sixers) – 130.63.

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Most centuries:
Perry, Healy, and Grace Harris (Renegades) – two each.
Luke Wright (Stars), and Khawaja – two each.

Most half-centuries:
Elyse Villani (Scorchers) – 16.
Lynn -15.

Most fours:
Villani – 238.
Klinger – 184.

Most sixes:
Lynn – 119.
Sophie Devine (Strikers) – 59.

With Ellyse Perry without peer as Australia’s most talented cricketer, if not the world, it begs the question why hasn’t she won the coveted Young Australian of the Year Award along the way?

She is at least the equal of previous winners Mark Ella (1982), Jon Sieben (1984), Duncan Armstrong (1988), Cathy Freeman (1990), Kieren Perkins (1992), Ian Thorpe (2000), Lleyton Hewitt (2003), Casey Stoner (2008), Jessica Watson (2011), and Sam Kerr last year.

It would be the icing on her career cake if Ellyse Alexandra Perry was named Australian of the Year sooner rather than later.