Thursday, 24 November 2016

ICC Player Rankings

World champion Australia’s dominating 3-0 series win over South Africa in the last leg of the ICC Women’s Championship reflects in the latest MRF Tyres ICC ODI Rankings for Women Players with captain Meg Lanning and Ellyse Perry among those reaping the benefits of some fine performances.

Lanning has consolidated her position at the top of the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings for Women Batters with 232 runs in the series. Lanning played a stellar role in helping her team win the championship as she was the leading scorer with 1,232 runs, the only one to top 1,000 runs in the tournament that ran from 2014-16.

All-rounder Perry has moved up three places to take a career-best second position among batters after scoring 188 runs in the series to finish with 985 runs in the tournament. She shares the spot with India captain Mithali Raj, a former top-ranked batter, but the pair trails Lanning by 91 points. Perry has also advanced one slot to fourth position in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Player Rankings for Women Bowlers with three wickets in the series and 23 in the tournament.

The latest rankings take into account 15 One-Day Internationals played in November including 12 matches of the ICC Women’s Championship that featured three other series which saw New Zealand defeat Pakistan, England beat Sri Lanka and India defeat the West Indies, all by 3-0 margins.

Australia won the championship with 36 points, followed by England (29), New Zealand (26) and the West Indies (22), which were the other sides to advance directly to the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017. India, South Africa, Pakistan and Sri Lanka will get a second chance to make it to the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier to be held in Sri Lanka from February 7 to 21.

New Zealand’s Amy Satterthwaite, who became the first woman batter to score three consecutive ODI centuries in the series against Pakistan, has moved up three places to a career-best fifth position while West Indies batter Deandra Dottin has moved up two positions to 10th place scoring 85 runs in India.

Pakistan’s left-hander Bismah Maroof has got into the 10 top for the first time as she advanced one rank from 11th position while England captain Heather Knight is just six points behind her, also moving up one place to take the 11th slot.

England’s Natalie Sciver has climbed up six places for a career-best 15th position while South Africa’s Lizelle Lee, who scored her maiden century (102) in the last ODI against Australia, has moved up seven ranks to take 16th position.

In the bowlers’ rankings led by India pace bowler Jhulan Goswami, left-arm spinners Jess Jonassen of Australia and India’s Rajeshwari Gayakwad, as well as New Zealand pace bowler Lea Tahuhu have achieved career-best rankings.

Jonassen, who was the most successful bowler in the competition with 31 wickets, has risen to sixth position. Gayakwad, who finished with 25 wickets, has moved up four positions to take 10th place, while Tahuhu has moved up nine slots to take the 13th slot.

The complete results of the ICC Women’s Championship can be seen here.

The ICC Women’s Championship points table can be seen here.


Monday, 14 November 2016

Busy week to settle WWC17 places

It is a busy last few days in the ICC Women's Championship this week as the final round of fixtures are played and the four teams that automatically qualify for the 2017 World Cup emerge (subject to the ICC's ruling on the unplayed Pakistan v India fixtures)

On Tuesday England, who have already secured their qualification with victory in the second ODI against Sri Lanka, again take on their hosts at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. It will be interesting to see if Katherine Brunt has recovered from her "niggle" which took her off the field in the last game, and if newbie Emma Lamb is given her first cap?

On Wednesday West Indies have their final chance to secure their WWC17 place for themselves as they take on India in the third and final ODI in Vijayawada. They have failed to score enough runs in the first two games and been well beaten by their Indian hosts. If West Indies are again beaten, then the door remains just slightly ajar for South Africa to sneek past them into the top four, although they will have to beat Australia...three times!
As for India, without the six points from the unplayed games against Pakistan, they will finish in fifth or sixth spot and will be in Sri Lanka for the qualifying tournament.

Also on Wednesday New Zealand can seal their place in WWC17 if they win the fourth ODI against Pakistan. In the three games to date they have been untroubled, although Pakistan did manage to put 263/6 on the board in the last game (the first ICCWC match). New Zealand still chased it down with nearly six overs to spare and eight wickets in hand. Amy Satterthwaite helped herself to a second consecutive unbeaten hundred, and she will be looking for more runs as the teams move to Nelson for the final two ODIs of the series.

On Thursday England conclude their series against Sri Lanka with the fourth ODI in the series. It will be England's last ODI before the World Cup warm-ups, unless they can fit in another "unofficial" series before next June.

On Friday Australia start their five match ODI series against South Africa (with the first three to count towards the ICCWC). It is the final series in the ICCWC competition, with Australia already through to the WWC17, but, by this time, it may already be too late for South Africa to get there without going to Sri Lanka first. The second and third games will be played the following Sunday and Wednesday.

And finally Saturday will see the conclusion of the New Zealand v Pakistan series. How many ODI runs can Amy Satterthwaite finish up with in 2016? She has 730 so far!!


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Lamb added to England squad in Sri Lanka

England have today announced that Lancashire’s Emma Lamb has been called-up to Heather Knight’s England squad to take on Sri Lanka starting tomorrow.

The right handed top order batsman has been training in Abu Dhabi along with seven other members of the England Women’s Senior Academy and the England squad, as part of a six-day preparation camp for the four-match One-Day International (ODI) series, which gets underway in Colombo tomorrow (Wednesday 9th November).

The 18-year-old’s addition to the squad to play against Sri Lanka comes after impressing Knight and England Women’s Head Coach, Mark Robinson, in the UAE, and follows a consistent Kia Super League campaign this summer, where she scored 122 runs at an average of just under 25 for Lancashire Thunder. Lamb is now one of two uncapped players in the 15-strong squad, joining Yorkshire and Loughborough Lightning right-arm seamer, Beth Langston.

Robinson said : “Emma has really impressed us during the prep camp in Abu Dhabi.  She got good runs in the two internal warm-up matches we played there, batting in an unfamiliar position at number six, which has shown to us that she has great versatility.  She also delivered a series of strong performances in the Kia Super League this summer, and was the standout batsman on the England Women’s Academy tour to Sri Lanka earlier this year, so she fully deserves this opportunity.

“Her approach to everything so far has been very professional and we are keen to try to build some experience into young players like Emma whenever we can.  Being around the senior girls over the next couple of weeks, I am sure she will learn loads, which is the whole idea.

“The training camp in Abu Dhabi was excellent.  Heather Knight led from the front with a big hundred in the second warm-up match yesterday, with Georgia Elwiss also getting 80 odd, and Nat Sciver chipped in with a couple of good scores.  It has also been really beneficial to have some of the Senior Academy players training with the squad – it’s been great to get a closer look at them, and I’ve been very impressed with what I’ve seen.

“The challenge now is to adapt quickly to the new conditions here in Sri Lanka.  There has been a lot of rain around in Colombo over the last few days, and looking ahead the forecast isn’t ideal, but we will take everything in our stride.  Sri Lanka have had a tough time in the ICC Women’s Championship, but we know how competitive they can be – especially on their home turf.  There certainly won’t be any complacency from us, as we look to finish 2016 on a high.”

All four of England women’s fixtures against Sri Lanka will be played in Colombo during a short nine day window, starting with the first ODI tomorrow (Wednesday 9 November). The remaining three ODIs will form England’s seventh and final round of matches in the ICC Women’s Championship – the qualification tournament for the ICC Women’s World Cup in England in 2017 – and will be played on Saturday 12th, Tuesday 15th and Thursday 17th November.  Heather Knight’s team need to record just a single win (2 points) from the three Championship matches to secure one of the four automatic qualification spots for the World Cup on home soil next summer.


Monday, 7 November 2016

Do the Aussies have a seam problem?

The Aussies may be talking up Holly Ferling, and playing down Ellyse Perry's "niggling knee injury", but with the World Cup in England, where seam and swing bowling plays a vital role, just seven months away, Australia's seam attack looks rather forelorn.

Perry has not bowled in this season's WNCL - in fact she has only played one game out of NSW's four played to date. She last bowled competitively in Sri Lanka on 27th September. She only bowled 19 overs in five games in Sri Lanka, taking just four wickets. This followed a poor return in the inaugural Kia Super League in England - again just four wickets, this time in six games. Bowling is not now Perry's main suit it seems. She has always been an elegant bat and she has developed into a top quality top order batsman. But her days of leading the bowling attack seem to be behind her, injured or not.

So the mantle has been passed to Ferling, whom the Aussies have been nurturing for some considerable time. Despite only being 20 she already has 32 appearances for Australia under her belt, having debuted for her country back in 2013 at just 17. But in 20 ODIs she has taken just 24 wickets, having taken one or no wickets in 13 of those games. Initially she could be forgiven for spraying the ball in all directions, but having now remodelled her action, apparently, she still seems to lack control and appears to do little with the ball. Cricket Australia have invested a lot of time (and money) into Ferling and they will be hoping to reap the rewards from that investment now that she is really needed. So far in four games in the WNCL she has taken just four wickets (three of those in one game).

Taking the new ball with Ferling recently has been Megan Schutt, with back-up seam bowling from the long-serving Rene Farrell. Schutt bowls nagging in-swing and gives away very little, but she too has only taken a few wickets in the WNCL so far this season (three in five games). She pulled out of the KSL due to injury and managed only three wickets in four games in Sri Lanka. Farrell has been in and out of the Australia team for the last nine years. Of all the seamers she has made the best start to the WNCL with six wickets in her opening four games. However in England last year she only took two wickets in five KSL games for the Surrey Stars.

So where is the back-up to these regulars? Well the answer seems to be left arm seamer Lauren Cheatle. The 18 year old (yesterday in fact) burst onto the international scene last summer after impressing with the Sydney Thunder in the WBBL01. But so far she has only been tried in the 20 over format of the game at international level. In two games for NSW this season she is yet to take a wicket. She was not selected for the recent Sri Lanka tour as she was completing her final year at senior secondary school. It is very early days in her career.

There are a few other names emerging from the WNCL - Brooke Hepburn, Tahlia McGrath and Alex Price for example, and no doubt WBBL02 will throw a few more names into the pot. But time is running out for Australia if they are to strengthen their seam attack before landing on English soil in June next year.


Thursday, 3 November 2016

England Winter Squads announced

England have announced their Academy squads for the winter, but not their main squad. Here is the movement in the squads from last year's announcements as far as we can tell.

England Women's Performance Squad
Tammy Beaumont - retained
Katherine Brunt - retained
Kate Cross - retained
Jodie Dibble - left the squad end of 2015
Charlotte Edwards - retired May 2016
Georgia Elwiss - retained
Tash Farrant - retained
Lydia Greenway - retired June 2016
Rebecca Grundy - current status unclear
Jenny Gunn - retained
Danielle Hazell - retained
Amy Jones - retained
Heather Knight - retained and promoted to captain
Beth Langston - remains currently uncontracted 
Laura Marsh - retained
Nat Sciver - retained
Anya Shrubsole - retained
Sarah Taylor - currently unavailable for selection
Fran Wilson - retained - became contracted player in Jan 2016
Lauren Winfield - retained
Danielle Wyatt - retained
New faces
Alex Hartley - not named in EWSA squad, so assume she has been promoted

England Women's Academy -  - now the England Women's Senior Academy
new Head Coach - John Stanworth

Georgia Adams - retained
Hollie Armitage - retained 
Ellen Burt - retained
Steph Butler - deselected
Freya Davies - retained
Sophia Dunkley - retained
Sophie Ecclestone - retained
Katie George - retained
Alex Hartley - promoted to main squad
Evelyn Jones - retained
Emma Lamb - retained
Sophie Luff - retained
Alex Macdonald - deselected
Bryony Smith - retained
Eleanor Threlkeld - retained

New faces
Georgie Boyce - promoted from EWDP
Thea Brookes - Worcestershire
Alice Davidson-Richards - recalled after three year absence
Georgia Hennessy - recalled after one year absence
Hannah Jones - promoted from EWDP
Paige Scholfield - recalled after one year absence
Linsey Smith - Berkshire

England Women's Development Programme - Now the England Women's Academy 
Emily Arlott - deselected
Megan Belt - deselected
Maia Bouchier - retained
Georgie Boyce - promoted to EWSA
Izzy Cloke - retained
Izzy Collis - deselected
Alice Dyson - retained
Emily Edgcombe - retained
Tiarna Gilkes - deselected
Sarah Glenn - retained
Cordelia Griffith - deselected
Lucy Higham - retained
Hannah Jones - promoted to EWSA
Sophie Mackenzie - deselected
Anna Nicholls - retained
Tara Norris - retained
Rhianna Southby - retained
Erin Staunton-Turner - deselected
Lucy Staunton-Turner - deselected

New faces
Lauren Bell - Berks
Charlie Dean - Hants
Danielle Gibson - Gloucs
Amy Gordon - Surrey
Eva Gray - Surrey
Millie Pope - Middlesex
Alex Travers - Surrey
Katie Wolfe - Middlesex


Tuesday, 1 November 2016

ICC Women's Championship - Final Round

The inaugural ICC Women's Championship concludes this month as the final round of games are played. The current standings look like this

Please note we have given Pakistan 6 points for their unplayed series against India, although this has not been officially confirmed.

The final round of games are :-

New Zealand v Pakistan starting on 9th November

Sri Lanka v England starting on 9th November

India v West Indies starting on 10th November

Australia v South Africa starting on 18th November

As you probably know by now the top four teams automatically qualify for next year's World Cup, while the bottom four must go the ICCWC Qualifier in Colombo in February (more on that here).

Australia have already qualified as winners of the Championship. England need just one point in Sri Lanka to secure their place, and one win for the West Indies in India will ensure that they are England next year too. New Zealand need two wins against Pakistan to be sure to be the fourth team through. In order for South Africa to get through they will have to win at least two of their games against Australia and hope that teams above them fail to win the required games. Just one loss to Australia would ensure both England and West Indies are through, come what may. Two losses for South Africa would mean that New Zealand would also definitely be there.

It looks likely therefore that Australia, England, West Indies and New Zealand will qualify, and that South Africa, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka will have to fight it out with Bangladesh, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Scotland and Zimbabwe for the four remaining slots, and entry to the ICC Women's Championship 2017-2020.


Women's World Cup Qualifier - a lot at stake

Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo will host the 10-team ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier which will be staged from 7 to 21 February 2017.

The tournament will see the bottom four sides from the ICC Women’s Championship (likely to be South Africa, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka), along with Bangladesh, Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Scotland and Zimbabwe go head to head for the four remaining spots in the ICC Women’s World Cup in England from 26 June to 23 July 2017.

From the ICC Women’s Championship, host Sri Lanka is certain to feature in the qualifier, while the remaining three sides will be confirmed following the final round of matches to be played in November.

The 10 sides in Colombo will be divided into two groups of five with the top three from each progressing to the Super Six stage, thus securing One-Day International (ODI) status until the next ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier. The top four sides from the Super Six stage will qualify for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017, as well as for the next ICC Women’s Championship, while the top two sides will contest the final on 21 February. As many as 30 50-over matches will be played in the two-week tournament, which will provide another opportunity for the women’s sides below the leading nations to gain vital experience and exposure as well as to hone their skills so that they are fully prepared and geared up for the ultimate event in women’s cricket.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said the Colombo event will help the competing sides narrow the gap with the top women’s sides. “Thanks to the ICC Women’s Championship, women’s cricket has never been so strong and I am confident that next year’s qualifying event will give further impetus to the women’s game. “With six teams currently battling for the three remaining automatic World Cup qualification spots through the Women’s Championship, there are going to be some big names going into the qualifying event. This will create a highly competitive environment in Colombo and will also provide the emerging sides with an opportunity to continue to narrow the gap with the frontrunners and with a place at the World Cup at stake anything can happen which will make for an exciting tournament."