The nominees for Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy for ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year is dominated by opening batters. We take a look at their efforts and celebrate their achievements throughout the calendar year.
The ICC Awards 2021 will recognise the outstanding achievements and feats in cricket over the past year – here's everything you need to know about it.
872 runs in 21 internationals at an average of 48.44 with one century and eight half-centuries
The year gone by
With 872 runs, England's Tammy Beaumont finished as the highest run-getter in the calendar year.
Beaumont enjoyed a great start to the year, with three fifties in three ODIs against New Zealand away from home. She carried her form over to the T20I leg of the tour where she finished as the highest run-scorer in England's 3-0 whitewash.
In the multi-format series against India, she started with two consecutive half-centuries; the first one coming in the only Test and the second in a Player of the Match-winning effort of 87* in the first ODI. She scored her third half-century of the tour in the second T20I, though it came in a losing effort.
She bagged yet another Player of the Match award in the T20I series opener against New Zealand at home, missing out on a century by just three runs. She capped the limited-overs tour with a ton that helped England clinch the ODI series 4-1.
With one hundred and eight fifties in the year, there was no dearth of sensational performances from Beaumont. The one innings that stood out though, was the 97 against New Zealand in first T20I at home.
Beaumont made her intent clear with two boundaries in the first over but slowed down after the wicket of Danni Wyatt. She kept the scoreboard ticking with Nat Sciver at the other end. Amy Jones' attacking play rubbed off on Beaumont, who smashed four consecutive boundaries in an over against Leigh Kasperek and brought up her fifty in the process.
Beaumont continued to punish the New Zealand bowlers and almost carried her bat through, getting out for 97 off the penultimate ball of the innings.
864 runs in 19 internationals at an average of 57.6 with one century and seven half-centuries
The year gone by
Lizelle Lee was in sensational white-ball form throughout the year, particularly in the ODIs where she finished as the highest run-getter in 2021 with 632 runs in 11 matches as well as the top-ranked Women's ODI batter in the ICC Rankings.
Lee's 2021 started off with a duck against Pakistan in the first ODI of the three-match series but the opening batter made up with two scores of 40+ in the next two matches as South Africa completed a clean sweep.
Lee was in great form in the ODI leg of the Indian tour, where she scored two fifties and a hundred in four matches. South Africa won the series 4-1 and Lee was awarded the Player of the Series for her 288 runs. She then scored another fantastic fifty in the second T20I against India, helping her team wrap up the series with a game in hand.
Lee played a starring role in the second T20I against West Indies with a 52-ball 75. She finished the tour with three fifties in five matches in the ODI series, which South Africa clinched 4-1.
Lizelle Lee scored her career-best individual ODI score, a stunning innings of 132* against India in Lucknow.
Chasing 249, Lee mixed caution with aggression early on in the innings, especially after the wicket of Laura Wolvaardt. She kept finding the boundaries with regularity to keep in touch with the required run-rate and soon brought up her fifty.
South Africa were cruising along to a win with Lee bringing up her century and Mignon du Preez keeping her company at the crease before they lost two wickets in two overs.
With rain around the corner, South Africa were in a race against time. Lee smashed three fours and a six in a span of 14 balls to put South Africa ahead of the DLS par score. It eventually started raining and South Africa won the match by 6 runs, thanks to brilliant 132* off 131 from Lee.
624 runs in 15 internationals at an average of 52 with one century and four half-centuries
The year gone by
Gaby Lewis had a memorable start to 2021, bagging two Player of the Match awards in Ireland's 3-1 T20I series win over Scotland at home. In both games, she came within touching distance of a fifty, missing out by three runs and one run in the second and fourth match respectively.
Lewis scored her first T20I fifty of the year against the Netherlands, helping Ireland wrap the series up in the third T20I with a game in hand.
Lewis made history at ICC Women's T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in August when she became the first Irish woman to score a T20I century. The knock of 105* came in just 60 balls against Germany.
She carried her T20I form over to the ODI format as well, scoring three fifties. She was the top run-getter in the series with 263 runs and was awarded the Player of the Series.
Lewis went down in Ireland history when she became the first woman from her country to score a T20I century.
She made her intent clear from the very beginning, racing to 34 off 15 in the Powerplay which included seven boundaries. She soon brought up her fifty in style, taking the aerial route for a maximum against Anne Bierwisch.
The second half of the Ireland innings didn't see much fireworks but Lewis kept the scoreboard ticking and batted through till the end. She brought up her century in 55 balls and remained unbeaten as Ireland posted 196.
855 runs in 22 internationals at an average of 38.86 with one century and five half-centuries
The year gone by
Despite India enduring a difficult 2021, Smriti Mandhana's stock continued to rise this year.
In the limited-overs series against South Africa where India won just two of the eight matches at home, Mandhana played a major role in both of the wins. She scored 80* as India chased down 158 in the second ODI that helped them level the series and scored a 48* in the win in the final T20I.
Mandhana played a sublime innings of 78 in the first innings of the one-off Test against England that ended in a draw. She played an important knock of 49 in India's only win in the ODI series. Her 15-ball 29 and fifty in the T20I series went in vain, though, as India fell short in both the matches and lost the series 2-1.
Mandhana was in good touch in the series against Australia, starting with the ODI series where she scored 86 in the second ODI. She scored a brilliant century in the only Test, the first of her career, and was awarded the Player of the Match. She scored her second T20I fifty of the year in the final T20I, though India fell short and lost the series 2-0.
Smriti Mandhana made India's first-ever pink-ball Test even more memorable by smashing her maiden century in the longest format of the game.
Mandhana played her natural game to begin with, and scored a run-a-ball half-century but played with caution under the lights.
She was caught when she was 80 but Ellyse Perry had overstepped, giving her a reprieve. She made the most of the lifeline and got her first Test century in style with a boundary.
Her innings finally came to an end at 127, after putting India in a strong position. The match ended in a draw and Mandhana was declared the Player of the Match.
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