Ellyse Perry – One of a kind

RCB’s Ellyse Perry in action during the WPL match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore

RCB’s Ellyse Perry in action during the WPL match between Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore
| Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

She can bend it like Beckham. She is known more for swinging it like Anderson, though.

Ellyse Perry is truly special. How many athletes have been good enough to play the World Cups in two different sports?

She is, of course, regarded as one of the all-time greats in women’s cricket, but she is amazingly talented as a footballer as well. Just rewind to the goal she scored for Australia against Sweden in the 2011 FIFA Women’s Football World Cup in Germany.

She actually bent it like Beckham — from the edge of the box to the top corner of the net. For Perry that goal now almost seems like from another life.

“It all happened so long ago, but I loved playing football and it was an amazing opportunity to do that,” Perry, who is one of the biggest attractions at the Women’s Premier League, tells The Hindu. “And it helped me as an athlete in general.”

Her athleticism cost India dearly at the recent T20 Women’s World Cup in South Africa recently. Her sprint and dive to stop at the boundary line when India needed 18 off the last nine balls to win the semifinal was one of the best bits of fielding in international cricket, male or female, of late.

Perry, a genuine all-rounder who could walk into a side either as a batter or a bowler, says India was unlucky to lose that game to Australia. “It is another example of the incredible competition we have had with India in international cricket in the last five years,” she says.

“India played incredibly well, but we hung in there and took the opportunities that came our way.”

Australia went on to win the World Cup beating South Africa in the final. She thus took her tally of World Cups to eight.

Focus now on WPL

Perry’s focus at the moment is on the WPL. She is delighted that she has joined Royal Challengers Bangalore.

“We have assembled a good squad,” she says. “We have some great domestic players. RCB has certainly done a good job at the auction.”

Perry thinks the WPL is going to be phenomenal. “The scale of the WPL is unrivalled by any other women’s competition in the world,” she says. “And it will create an amazing depth of talent in Indian cricket.”

The WPL is waiting for some memorable performances from the woman who has 4921 runs and 283 wickets in international white-ball cricket, not to mention a Test batting average of 75.2.

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