Cricket is becoming bigger as a sport with each passing day. Along with the Test-playing nations, cricket is regularly followed by many other countries as well. There was a time when men’s cricket was the only sort of cricket, but now, women's cricket is also popular among the cricket loving people around the globe.
Barring one or two, in most Test-playing countries, women cricket is also generating the attention of the people, attracting the sponsors, and of course, women cricketers are performing well in the field.
England and Australia played the first international women's cricket match back in 1934. And now, more than 50 countries play women's cricket. Ten of them have the Test status.
In this article, we will discuss five women cricketers who are arguably the most loved female cricketers in the world.
#5 Sana Mir (Pakistan)
Sana Mir is a Pakistani women cricketer who plays as a bowler, but she is also useful with the bat. The 33-year-old is one of the most loved female cricketers in the world.
She has led the Pakistan women cricket team in 36 ODIs, while winning 17 of them. Sana’s career and her success played a big influential rule for many girls of Pakistan to play cricket.
The Abbottabad-born Mir became the first Pakistani women cricketer to rank number one in ICC ODI bowler ranking. She has also led Pakistan in two Gold medals in Asian Games.
She started playing for her country back in 2005, and along with representing country in international cricket, she continued her academic studies. Sana has completed her bachelor degree in Statistics and Economics. She has proved higher education is not impossible for an international cricketer.
The wily all-rounder has played 112 ODIs and 97 T20Is for her nation so far and scored 1558 and 794 runs, combined with 136 and 81 wickets respectively.
#4 Sarah Taylor
Sarah Taylor is an English women cricketer. The 29-year-old is famous for her fearless stroke play with the bat. Along with batting in the middle of the order, she keeps wickets for England.
Sarah Taylor is the first-ever woman cricketer who played in a boys team in Australia grade cricket back in 2015. She kept wicket for Northern Districts against Port Adelaide at Salisbury Oval in South Australia. The move of including a woman cricketer in boys team had created criticism at that point of time, but the woman behind the sticks only knew how to stay focused.
Sarah won the award of ICC Women's T20I Cricketer of the Year thrice (2012, 2013, 2018), along with the award of ICC Women's ODI Cricketer of the Year in 2014.
The London-born batter has played 9 Tests, 118 ODIs and 89 T20Is for England and scored 295, 3945 and 2175 runs respectively. To add to that, she has claimed 122 catches across the formats along with 100 stumpings to her name.
#3 Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj is an Indian woman cricketer who is often mentioned by the analysts as the best women cricketer that the game has ever had. She is the first cricketer (men or women) to score more than 2000 runs in international T20s. She created the milestone during the Women Asia Cup T20 back in 2018.
Raj is one of the most celebrated cricketers in the cricket-mad country of India. Her excellent batting ability has earned her the tag of 'Tendulkar of women's cricket' in her country. She has more One-day Internationals runs than any other women cricketer in the world.
The 36-year-old also scored seven consecutive fifties during the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, which is the record of hitting most fifties in a row by a cricketer. Along with being the best women cricketer with the bat, Mithali also tasted immense success as a captain.
She has played 10 Tests, 197 ODIs and 85 T20Is for India, and scored 663, 6550, and 2283 runs respectively.
#2 Ellyse Perry
Ellyse Perry is an Australian woman athlete who is the only Australian to play in both cricket and football World Cups. Perry earned her international debut in cricket at the age of 16 back in 2008, and in the same year, she played her first-ever international football match as well.
Ellyse was good enough to continue playing both games. But she was needed to choose one back in 2010 when Australia were preparing for ICC Women's World T20 and AFC Women's Asian Cup at the same time. Australian authorities of both games were keen to retain her. But she herself took her own decision to choose the beautiful game of cricket over football.
The 28-year-old Perry further faced off many obstacles to maintaining her commitment to both sports. But she preferred cricket over football most of the times.
Ellyse Perry has played 7 Tests, 100 ODIs and 102 T20Is for Australia and scored 432, 2851 and 951 runs while taking 30, 131 and 100 wickets respectively. She is arguably the bestt all-rounder in the women's international circuit.
#1 Smriti Mandhana
Smriti Mandhana is an Indian women cricketer who won the Women Cricketer of the Year 2018. She is a left-handed opening batter. Most probably, she is the most loved women cricketer in the world right now.
The 22-year-old Smriti was inspired to try her hand in cricket by her brother who played at the district level. Smriti took the limelight for the first time back in 2013 when she recorded a double-century for Maharashtra U-19 - 224 off 150 balls.
Mandhana started playing for India back in 2013 against Bangladesh. Since then, she has played 2 Tests, 44 ODIs and 52 T20Is for India and scored 81, 1602 and 1046 runs respectively.
Smriti has illustrated most of her batting prowess in ODIs. In her 44 ODI innings, she has hit three centuries and 13 half-centuries. Her best ODI knock is 135 against South Africa.