Ahead of the inaugural match between MCC Women v Rest of the World Women on Monday 19 May at Lord's, Raf Nicholson profiles Australia's ICC World T20 winning captain Meg Lanning.
Meg Lanning (Australia & Rest of the World)
Aptly nicknamed “the Megastar”, Meg Lanning has achieved an incredible amount for someone who is only 22 years old.
The youngest ever captain of Australia
Her ODI debut came in 2011 against England and in only her second game, she scored an unbeaten 103, and at 18 years and 288 days old became the youngest Australian – male or female – to score an international century.
A year later, in an ODI against New Zealand, she broke the record for the fastest century by an Australian, racking up her ton in a mere 45 balls. She also holds the record for the highest individual score in the domestic Women’s National Cricket League (175 from 142 balls).
Recognised as having a great cricket brain, in January (and mid-Ashes after an injury to Jodie Fields) Lanning became the youngest ever captain of Australia at the age of 21.
She led from the front to finish as her side’s top run-scorer in the series.
She has just led her team to their third consecutive World Twenty20 title, and her batting is as ferocious as ever: she hit 44 in the final, and in the group match against Ireland, in a breathtaking performance, she slammed 126 off 65 balls, the second highest score in all men’s and women’s T20Is.
Meg Lanning: "Always good to be at Lord's"
Other players: MCC v Rest of the World
Claire Taylor (England & MCC)
One of the best batsmen the woman’s game has ever seen, Claire Taylor made history when in 2009 she was the first woman to be named one of Wisden‘s Five Cricketers of the Year.
It was a decision that was thoroughly justified, coming on the back of her 79 and 64* in the 2008 Ashes Test match, a performance which led England to a memorable victory.
Subsequently, Taylor continued to display her pre-eminence with the bat, being named Player of the Tournament in both the 50-over and Twenty20 2009 World Cups, including 39* in the T20 final against New Zealand here at Lord’s.
An Oxford maths graduate, her mental toughness and mathematical approach to batting saw her ruthlessly accumulate runs for the entirety of her thirteen-year international career, but two phenomenal efforts with the bat stand out. First, her 177 against South Africa in the 2003 Test at Shenley on one of the hottest recorded days in British history.
And secondly, her 156* against India in 2006, here at Lord’s: still the highest individual ODI score at the Ground, surpassing Sir Viv Richards’ previous best of 136*. Unsurprisingly, Taylor completed her career with batting averages in excess of 40 in both Test and ODI cricket.
Since her retirement in 2011, she has worked as a management consultant, and she also chairs the MCC Women’s Cricket sub-committee.
Georgia Elwiss (England & MCC)
Originally called up to the England squad in June 2011, pace bowler Georgia Elwiss made her international debut a few months later on the winter tour of South Africa.
Having developed her game through both the MCC Young Cricketers and MCC Universities programmes, her success for England’s Academy quickly translated into the international arena and she played a key role in the senior side’s ODI whitewash of New Zealand in early 2012.
Since then her impressive economy rate of 3.29 in ODIs has made her a big asset to the England side.
Elwiss suffered a back injury last year after the World Cup, but she has since proved herself to be fully recovered, featuring in both the World Twenty20 and England's successful Ashes defence in Australia.
Her career highlight came during the summer of 2012, as she starred in England's remarkable series turnaround against India: having lost the first two ODIs, they won the next three in a row to take the series.
Elwiss's contribution – six wickets at an average of 14.83, including 3/17 in the fifth ODI at Wormsley – was crucial, and earned her the Player of the Series award.
Tickets for the MCC v Rest of the World's women's are still available, click here.