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2018 lookback – the breakout stars (women)

Feature

From Scotland-born Kirstie Gordon shining for England, to Australia's exciting Georgia Wareham, many prodigious talents took centre stage at the international level in 2018.

England's Sophie Ecclestone beat out competition from India's Jemimah Rodrigues and Radha Yadav to lift the ICC Emerging Player (Female) Award for the year. But apart from the award winner and the runners-up, there were more young players who also made an impact on the big stage. 

2018 lookback: The young women who broke onto the world stage
2018 lookback: The young women who broke onto the world stage

Taniya Bhatia

Wicket-keeper batter Taniya Bhatia, who made her Twenty20 International and one-day international debut for India in 2018, is an exciting prospect for the near future.

The 21-year-old has featured in just three ODIs for so far, but has four catches and a stumping to her name already. She was required to bat in just one of the three games, wherein she slammed an impressive 68 against Sri Lanka at Galle.

Video cwc19 17 Nov 18
IND v AUS: Taniya Bhatia's stumpings in WT20 2018

Bhatia was a part of India's successful campaign at the ICC Women's World T20 2018, where she remained a reliable figure behind the stumps. With nine stumpings and two catches, she led the chart for most dismissals by a wicket-keeper in the tournament – 11. 

Gaby Lewis

With 95 runs in five innings, teenaged Lewis was Ireland's second highest run-scorer in their fruitful campaign at the ICC World T20 Qualifier in the Netherlands. The all-rounder, who was the first 21st century-born player to feature in international cricket, has come miles from her debut back in 2014.

Video cwc19 13 Nov 18
WT20 Feature: Gaby Lewis, Ireland's great batting hope

The 17-year-old amassed 330 runs and claimed five scalps in 16 matches across all formats in 2018, cementing her place in Ireland's XI with assertive performances. With two half-centuries in the year, she also became the only Irish woman to claim that feat.

Georgia Wareham

Wareham, at 19, became a World T20 winner after Australia defeated England by eight wickets in the final of the ICC Women's World T20 2018. The youngster played a crucial role in the victory, dismissing Amy Jones with a stunning direct hit from mid-wicket before claiming two consecutive scalps – Lauren Winfield and Sophia Dunkley – in as many deliveries. Her figures of 2/11 helped Australia restrict England to 105. 

Video cwc19 25 Nov 18
AUS v ENG: 'It's pretty unreal' – Georgia Wareham

Wareham, who made her Australia debut in September 2018, took to international cricket like a duck to water and her calm temperament has come in for much praise. She has claimed 14 wickets in as many international games, blending seamlessly in Australia's world-beating squad.

Kirstie Gordon

England took a risky decision ahead of the ICC World T20 2018, bringing in three uncapped players into their squad for the tournament. Gordon, one of the three youngsters, rose to the challenge beautifully, playing a significant role in England's road to the final.

Video cwc19 12 Nov 18
ENG v BAN: Kirstie Gordon – Player of the Match

The 21-year-old repaid the management's faith in her with eight wickets in five games, which included match-winning returns of 3/19 on debut against Bangladesh. The left-arm spinner ended the tournament as England's leading wicket-taker. 

It validated her decision to shift from Scotland, where she was an integral part of the squad.

Shamima Sultana

With 396 runs in 23 matches, Sultana is Bangladesh's leading run-scorer in T20 cricket in 2018. The wicket-keeper batter played a crucial part in their triumph at the ICC World T20 qualifier, scoring 87 runs in four innings.

Video WT20Q, video 12 Jul 18
WT20Q: Shamima Sultana expertly stumps Sarah Bryce!

She scored a splendid 53 in the fifth ODI against South Africa at Bloemfontein, thus showing her ability to shine away from familiar conditions. In the T20I leg, she became the first woman from her country to make a T20I fifty.

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