- Focus on the likes of Mooney, Bates, Ecclestone and Schutt as players feature in two series in different parts of the world
Leading players of the world will return to action for the first time since the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020, as two high profile series get underway in different parts of the world.
Australia, who retained the title on International Women’s Day with a record 86,174 spectators watching the final against India at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, will take on trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in a three-match series from next Saturday.
However, the action kicks off before that, with reigning 50-over World champions England playing former T20 World champions West Indies in a five-match series at home from Monday as the sides try to put behind their disappointments in Australia.
England had failed to make the final as rain washed out their semifinal against India, who advanced due to a better finish in the league phase, while 2016 champions West Indies could only notch a solitary win over first-time entrants Thailand.
The series in Brisbane will see Beth Mooney try to hold on to the top batting spot in the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Player Rankings which she grabbed with a player of the tournament performance at the T20 World Cup, while former New Zealand captain Suzie Bates will look to recapture the top position with just 12 rating points separating the two.
New Zealand captain Sophie Devine and the Aussie pair of Alyssa Healy and Meg Lanning occupy the positions from four to six, while West Indian captain Stafanie Taylor (eighth) and England star Natalie Sciver (10th) are the top-ranked players from their sides. Devine also enjoys a healthy lead at the top of the all-rounders’ list.
The story is not much different in the bowlers’ rankings as England’s left-arm spinner Sophie Ecclestone will try to ward off challenge from Australia’s Megan Schutt, a formerly top-ranked player who will be doing her best in the other series.
Amelia Kerr (fourth) of New Zealand and Hayley Matthews (24th) of the West Indies are the top ranked players from their sides, again featuring in different series.
The upcoming spell of T20Is could also impact the MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Team Rankings. Though top-ranked Australia will retain their top spot irrespective of the outcomes of these two series, second-ranked England can be overtaken by New Zealand.