Ellyse Perry, the recipient of the prestigious Belinda Clark Award, is undoubtedly one of the most exceptional athletes in Australia and a true legend of her generation. Hailing from Sydney, this remarkable allrounder has not only left an indelible mark on the cricket field but has also represented Australia on the global stage in both cricket and soccer World Cups.
Perry’s journey began with her senior international cricket debut in the second ODI of the Rose Bowl Series in Darwin in July 2007, an astonishing feat considering she was not even 17 years old at the time. She continued to impress, making her domestic debut during the 2007-08 Women’s National Cricket League season, where she showcased her skills by taking 2-29 from 10 overs in her very first match.
Since her introduction to the national team, Perry has become a cornerstone of the Southern Stars, participating in pivotal tournaments such as the 2009 ICC Women’s World Cup and the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 in the same year. Perry’s contributions were instrumental in Australia’s remarkable journey to the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Final in the West Indies in 2010, where she led the bowling attack with distinction. In a thrilling final that came down to the wire, Perry displayed incredible nerves of steel. With New Zealand requiring five runs off the final ball to claim the title, she bowled the decisive delivery, and despite immense pressure, she managed to deflect a powerful strike by New Zealand’s Sophie Devine to Lisa Sthalekar at mid-on, clinching the trophy for Australia. Her outstanding performance, with figures of 3-18, earned her the well-deserved Player of the Match award.
Perry’s remarkable consistency and match-winning abilities also shone through in Australia’s three consecutive victories in the World T20 tournaments, where she secured her place in the Team of the Tournament in both 2012 and 2014. Additionally, she played a pivotal role in Australia’s triumphant journey to claim the ICC Women’s World Cup in India in 2013, despite battling an ankle injury. Her impressive performance in the final, where she took 3-19 and dismissed the top three West Indies batters, further solidified her reputation as one of the finest in the game.
In 2015, Perry was a standout performer in Australia’s Ashes victory over England and even took on the captaincy for the Sydney Sixers during WBBL|01. She continued to achieve greatness in 2018 when she played an indispensable role in the Australian Women’s cricket team, leading them to a fourth ICC World T20 championship. During the 2018 ICC Women’s World T20 in the West Indies, Perry reached historic milestones. She became the first cricketer for Australia, regardless of gender, to participate in 100 Twenty20 International matches. Furthermore, in the final of that same tournament, she became the first cricketer for Australia, once again regardless of gender, to claim 100 wickets in Twenty20 International matches. Perry’s incredible feats and unwavering commitment have undoubtedly left an indelible legacy in the world of cricket.