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    Nat Sciver-Brunt Recognised as Top Women's Cricketer Globally
Nat Sciver-Brunt Recognised as Top Women's Cricketer Globally
Natalie Sciver-Brunt . Source: Sky Sports

Nat Sciver-Brunt Recognised as Top Women's Cricketer Globally

Natalie Sciver-Brunt secures an English victory for the women's award, breaking the streak of Australians who have won it five times in the decade since its establishment.

Natalie Sciver-Brunt play. Source: Crictoday
Natalie Sciver-Brunt play. Source: Crictoday

Early Career

Natalie (Nat) Sciver-Brunt is an English cricketer who represents the national team in all formats of the game. Nat Sciver-Brunt has made history as the first English woman to receive the prestigious title of Wisden's leading cricketer in the world. This recognition comes as part of the annual awards, which also include Harry Brook and Mark Wood among the five cricketers of the year featured in the almanack.

She was one of the selected players to receive one of the initial 18 ECB central contracts for women players, which were announced in April 2014. In April 2015, she was chosen as part of the England women's Academy squad for a tour to Dubai, where they played against the Australian women's team in two 50-over games and two Twenty20 matches.

During the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup, she, along with Heather Knight, achieved the highest partnership for the 3rd wicket in the history of the tournament, scoring 213 runs. In the same World Cup, she, along with Tammy Beaumont, set the highest partnership record for the 4th wicket, scoring 170 runs, which remains the highest in Women's World Cup history. She was a member of the victorious England team in the 2017 World Cup held in England. Her contributions to the World Cup victory led to her being named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 2018.

In October 2018, she was included in England's squad for the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies. Following the conclusion of the tournament, she was recognised as the standout player in the team by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

She holds the distinction of being the first English cricketer to achieve a hat-trick in a Women's Twenty20 International match. Additionally, the "Natmeg" shot in cricket is named after Sciver-Brunt. This name comes from a time when she hit a cricket ball through her legs during a game.

On March 7, 2021, Sciver-Brunt had the honour of captaining the England team for the first time in international cricket. She took on the captaincy role in the third WT20I match against New Zealand when Heather Knight was unable to play due to an injury.

Furthermore, on September 6, 2022, Sciver-Brunt was appointed as the captain of the England team for their home WT20I series against India, in the absence of Heather Knight.

Sciver-Brunt's outstanding performance in 2023 earned her the top spot in the women's game. Meanwhile, Australia's captain, Pat Cummins, received the men's trophy for leading his country to victory in both the World Test Championship and the 50-over World Cup. Cummins succeeds Ben Stokes, who has held the esteemed title three times in the past four years.

Natalie Sciver-Brunt play. Source: Times of India
Natalie Sciver-Brunt play. Source: Times of India

Reaching Prime 

The star power of Sciver-Brunt was acknowledged earlier in the year when she secured a £320,000 deal with the Mumbai Indians in the Women's Premier League, making her the highest-paid female team athlete in the United Kingdom. Her value continued to rise throughout the year. 

Sciver-Brunt's exceptional performance included three centuries in five One Day International (ODI) innings, including two Ashes centuries in just 72 hours. Her contributions played a crucial role in England's comeback from a 6-0 deficit to draw the highly anticipated series 8-8.

Sciver-Brunt achieved a remarkable feat by scoring a hundred in just 66 balls against Sri Lanka, which set a new English record. Before that, she had already been famous as the player of the final and the second-highest run-scorer in the WPL, which justified her high price tag.

By receiving recognition from Wisden, Sciver-Brunt became the first English player to be awarded the women's gong, which had been won by Australians five times in the past 10 years.

The selection panel for the historic Сricketers of the Year award, a highly sought-after accolade dating back to 1889, also had a strong Ashes presence. Brook earned his place on the panel based on his performance during the preceding English summer. He scored an impressive 363 runs at an average of over 40 in his debut series against Australia, including a crucial innings of 75 in the fourth innings of a must-win home Test at Headingley. In addition, Brook secured a spot in both limited-overs teams and became the sole male cricketer to score a century in the third edition of The Hundred.

According to Wisden editor Lawrence Booth, “Harry Brook passed 50 four times during the Ashes – more times than anyone – and played crucial hands in England’s wins at Headingley and The Oval.” He also set a record by scoring a century in just 41 balls for Northern Superchargers, and his breathtaking performances against New Zealand earned him a place in England's World Cup squad.

Wood, who is nearly ten years older than Brook at the age of 34 and may be running out of opportunities to secure his place, is recognized for his significant impact on the Ashes competition. When England was trailing 2-0, his exceptional speed played a crucial role in lifting the home team in the Leeds match, and he concluded the series with an impressive record of 14 wickets at an average of 20.21 in three matches against their long-standing rivals.

Booth, in his analysis, stated that the inclusion of Mark Wood in the Third Test at Headingley completely changed the course of the Ashes. Mark consistently bowled at speeds exceeding 96mph, took five wickets for 34 runs, and put Australia on the defensive, both literally and figuratively.

Although England didn't manage to win back the Ashes outright, this was largely due to the exceptional performances of Usman Khawaja and Mitchell Starc. Khawaja emerged as the top run-scorer in the thrilling series with an impressive tally of 496 runs, while Starc claimed the most wickets with 23, solidifying their positions among the cricketers of the year.

Their compatriot Ashleigh Gardner joins them in this recognition, as her outstanding performance of taking 12 wickets in the women's Ashes Test played a pivotal role. Another Australian cricketer, Travis Head, secures the Wisden Trophy for Test performance of the year for his decisive innings of 163 runs in the WTC final against India at The Oval.

In a historic achievement, Hayley Matthews from the West Indies becomes the first woman to be named the leading T20 cricketer of the year after seven years.

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