Following some scintillating performances at the recently concluded ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, we take a look at five players who could set the stage on fire in next year’s edition of the tournament in Bangladesh.
Tahlia McGrath - Australia
Such is the quality of the star-studded, champion Australia side that Tahlia McGrath, the top-ranked batter in MRF Tyres ICC Women’s T20I Rankings, was required to bat just thrice over the course of their six outings. That though, was enough for McGrath to leave her mark, as she aggregated 66 runs at a strike-rate of 160.97, the latter only being bettered by teammate Ellyse Perry among batters with a minimum of 50 runs in the competition.
McGrath was at her dominant best in a Group A game against hosts South Africa, where she smashed 57 off 33 to power Australia to a dominant six-wicket win. Her numbers with the ball might not have been as inspiring, but that facet of her game can only be expected to get better, so too, her free-flowing batting, by the next edition.
Richa Ghosh - India
Having played her part in the India U19 team’s victorious ICC Women’s Under-19s T20 World Cup campaign in January, Richa Ghosh lived up to the expectations in the senior event.
The wicket-keeper batter turned it around for India in their tournament opener against Pakistan with a stroke-filled 31* off 20, adding an unbroken 58-run stand with Jemimah Rodrigues to complete a seven-wicket win. She played the lone battle in the closing stages of the Group B game against England, scoring an unbeaten 47* off 34 as India fell 11 short.
Overall, Ghosh aggregated 136 runs at a strike-rate of 130.76, her tally only being exceeded by Smriti Mandhana among India's batters.
Orla Prendergast - Ireland
Orla Prendergast was perhaps one of the breakout stars in the competition, her exploits fetching her a 12th spot in the Upstox Most Valuable Team for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup 2023. A genuine all-rounder, Prendergast sizzled on both fronts in Ireland’s three-run win in their second warm-up game against Australia, dismissing Beth Mooney and Meg Lanning in an economical four-over spell before contributing 26 off 15 with the bat.
She carried that form into the tournament proper, maintaining an economy of 6 with the ball, while dismissing Mandhana, Deepti Sharma and Sophie Dunkley across her three outings. She aggregated 109 runs at a strike-rate of 125.28, and scored Ireland’s lone fifty in the competition - a sparkling 61 off 47 against the West Indies - which ignited hopes of their first win in the tournament’s history.
Alice Capsey - England
With Sophia Dunkley and Danni Wyatt at the top, Alice Capsey completed a belligerent England top-order that took opposition new-ball attacks to the cleaners on a consistent basis. Yet to turn 19, Capsey has already represented England in four ODIs and 15 T20Is to-date, and has aggregated 307 runs at a strike-rate of 132.90 with two fifties to her name.
Capsey smashed England Women’s fastest T20I fifty - the fifth fastest overall - in the side’s second Group B game against Ireland, scoring 51 off 22 in a sizzling display. 46 of those runs came in boundaries - 10 fours and a six - further highlighting her aggressive style of play.
Nadine de Klerk - South Africa
Another promising all-rounder, Nadine de Klerk is an effective middle-order batter and is highly resourceful with her useful medium pace. She made an early impression with a swashbuckling 27-ball 50* against England in South Africa’s first warm-up match, and later scored a valuable 28* in a must-win group game against New Zealand. However, she could do little of note with the bat thereafter, finishing with 57 runs at a strike-rate of 91.93 in the team’s run to the final.
De Klerk’s most significant hour in the competition came with the ball in the semi-final against England, wherein she returned 1/17 from four overs, dismissing a well-set Nat Sciver Brunt to give the game one of its decisive twists. Overall, the 23-year-old has aggregated 362 runs at 25.85 and has managed 29 wickets at an economy of 7 from 39 T20Is.