Best women's cricket players in the world 2023
It's a huge year for women's cricket with The Ashes leading right into The Hundred – but who are the top names to know?
With the ever-growing strength in women’s cricket around the world, it is becoming increasingly difficult to select just ten players for a list of the best in the women’s game in 2023.
We run over those on the radar at the moment, but there is no doubt there are dozens scrambling for a spot in the top ten and all could change by the end of a huge summer for the sport.
RadioTimes.com brings you our ranking of the best players in women's cricket as of 2023.
10. Nat Sciver-Brunt (England)
The all-rounder originally broke into the England side in 2013 where she took 3 for 28 against Pakistan in just her second ODI and later that year became the first England cricket (female or male) to take a hat-trick in a T20I. After taking some time out for her own mental health at the end of 2022, she returned in full force this year. At the T20 World Cup she finished with 216 runs to put her second on the list of run-scorers in the tournament.
Scriver-Brunt was sold for 3.2 crores (£320,000) in the inaugural WPL auction and fulfilled her potential in that tournament, notably with an unbeaten 72 off just 36 deliveries in the eliminator before her 60 not out in the final helped Mumbai Indians to the title. She returned to England for the Charlotte Edwards Cup and immediately made an impact picking up regular wickets and scoring handsomely. Her 96* off 50 was a huge statement ahead of an Ashes summer where she clocked 78 in her first innings in the Women’s Ashes Test. Her class with both bat and ball across all three formats is undeniable and it’s no surprise she is considered one of the top all-rounders in the game.
More like this
9. Sophie Ecclestone (England)
The number one bowler in the T20 rankings, she can turn any game on its head. She topped the table for most wickets at the T20 World Cup in February, taking 11 across five games while also showing that she is no fool with the bat, contributing valuable runs down the order.
She played a huge role for UP Warriorz in the inaugural WPL, regularly taking valuable wickets and showing her power-hitting ability with two half-centuries. During the women’s Ashes, she took two five-wicket hauls in the Test match before becoming the fastest and youngest woman ever to 100 IT20 Wickets. At times, there have even been calls for her to be added to the men’s team.
8. Ash Gardner (Australia)
Australia’s all-rounder can turn any game on its head, especially when bowling her off breaks. She sold for 3.2 crores (£320,000) in the inaugural WPL auction then made two half-centuries in the competition as well as picking up a handful of wickets, including two three-wicket hauls.
During the Women’s Ashes Test, she claimed a slice of history with the second-best figures in a women’s test match, taking 12 wickets for 165 including a staggering eight for 66 to smash through the England batting line-up. With the best figures in T20 of five for 12, she is hot property for franchises all around the world.
7. Smriti Mandhana (India)
In this year’s inaugural WPL, Smriti Mandhana was the highest-valued player selling at the auction for a staggering 3.4 crores (£340,000). The Indian left-handed batter is renowned for being one of the finest strikers of the ball in the women’s game.
In last year’s Hundred she scored the most runs for The Southern Brave with 211 and returns to the side again for 2023. Her ability to comfortably take on both spin and pace makes her a bit of gold dust to have at the top of a batting card.
6. Marizanne Kapp (South Africa)
One of the fiercest competitors in the game, the all-rounder is often referred to as a ‘big game player’ and her performances speak for themselves. She made her international debut back in 2009 and has since spearheaded the South African resurgence as a global power and a genuine contender at world events.
In the past two years, she has been integral to the Oval Invincibles’ victorious campaigns in the Hundred and was a huge part of Delhi Capitals’ road to the final in the inaugural WPL where she was bought for 1.5 crore (£150,000).
5. Hayley Matthews (West Indies)
She may have the Barbadian laid-back air around her, but on the field, the West Indies’ captain is a force to be reckoned with. She made her international debut aged just 16 and has since been a mainstay in the side that she now captains. She was player of the tournament in the inaugural WPL, where she scored 271 runs in the tournament and took 16 wickets in the tournament.
She picked up the purple cap for being the leading wicket-taker and her performances helped catapult her team to the title. At the FairBreak tournament, she then helped her team, the Warriors, to the title, notably scoring 123 in 52 balls and taking 2-14 in the final. It’s easy to forget that she is still only 25!
4. Chamari Athapaththu (Sri Lanka)
The Sri Lankan T20 captain is known worldwide as one of the big hitters in the game. She can hit the ball to all parts of the ground and this year made history as the first Sri Lankan woman to top the ICC ODI Batting rankings. Her antics with the bat also helped her side to a historic series win over the White Ferns this year, where she scored 248 in the series including an unbeaten 140 from just 80 balls.
The batting all-rounder boasts a high score of 178* in ODIs and 113, but can also have an impact with the ball bowling her off-breaks. Not picked up in the WPL this year, she is one to keep an eye on as she continues to shine for her country and in franchises around the world.
3. Laura Wolvaardt (South Africa)
When it comes to classy batting and textbook shots, look no further than the young South African opener. Known around the world for her cover drive, she is considered one of the best stroke players around.
She was the highest run-scorer at the T20 World Cup this year, clocking 230 in six innings at an average of 46 as she helped her side to their first-ever World Cup final. She has the ability to accelerate through the gears and shock sides by turning up the heat and going aerial.
2. Sophie Devine (New Zealand)
A stalwart of White Ferns cricket, Devine has been part of the side since 2006 and, in that time, has been the hard-hitter every team needs at the top of the order. Having originally started as a bowler who batted at number 11, she is now one of the most destructive batters in the women’s game and has seven hundreds in ODIs and one in T20 to her name.
She scored a blistering 99 off just 36 balls when playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the WPL in an innings that included nine fours and eight sixes. During the White Ferns’ tour of Sri Lanka, she hit 137 to take her side to an emphatic victory and on the same tour picked up her 200th wicket for the Silver Ferns, extending her lead at the top of the table.
1. Meg Lanning (Australia)
When it comes to winning, Australia’s captain has been there, done that, and got the trophies. She made her debut for the international side in 2011 before, in only her second game, scoring an unbeaten 103, meaning at just 18 years and 288 days old she was the youngest Australian - male or female - to score an international century.
The next year, in an ODI against the New Zealand White Ferns, she broke the record for the fastest century by an Australian, smashing her way to a ton in a mere 45 balls. She was named captain of the Australian side in 2014 aged just 21 – the youngest woman ever to captain the side. A calm and collected captain, she has the air of complete control when at the helm of the top side in the world and has led them to titles in all formats as well as the Commonwealth Games gold.
Her classy stroke play has seen her score 15 ODI hundreds and 21 half-centuries plus two T20 hundreds. She has recently taken a step back from the game, and her absence is often acknowledged by the media, especially when her side looks under pressure and in need of their legendary captain.