The Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, often labelled the ‘Bible of cricket’, is an annual publication founded in 1864 by John Wisden – who was a prominent cricketer of the mid-nineteenth century.
In the 2020 edition, Ellyse Perry has been named within the Wisden Five Cricketers of the Year alongside Jofra Archer, Simon Harmer and fellow Aussies, Pat Cummins and Marnus Labschange.
Ellyse Perry has become the first female outside of England to be named as one of the top five cricketers in the world and was also named the Leading Women Cricketer in the World, for the second time.
It is rare that a player achieves the double of Leading Cricketer in the World and one of the Five Cricketers of the Year in the same Almanack. Only three other men have achieved this. But it is fitting that Ellyse Perry – one of the great all-rounders – becomes the first woman.
Perry is also the first to be named the Leading Woman Cricketer in the World twice, having previously won the award for 2016. Back then, Wisden said of her performances “if consistency is the mark of greatness, Perry raised the bar”.
In 2019, she raised the bar even higher, scoring a century (plus 76 not out) in her only Test, and two more (both unbeaten) in ODIs, where she averaged 73. From six Twenty20 international innings, she was dismissed once, averaging a ridiculous 150. On top of that were 21 one-day wickets at 13 apiece, and six in T20s.
She was also the star of Australia Women’s Ashes defence, taking 7-22 in the last of three ODIs – the best-ever figures by an Australian in the format – and scoring 187 runs for once out in the only Test match, with a draw ensuring her side retained the urn.
The first two matches of the series had been competitive, but in the space of half an hour she dictated the course of the summer. As a result, the former England captain Charlotte Edwards labelled Perry “the greatest female player we’re ever going to see” – few would argue.