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Sophie Ecclestone

Sophie Ecclestone
Ecclestone at Lord's during England's T20I against Australia in July 2023
Personal information
Born (1999-05-06) 6 May 1999 (age 25)
Chester, Cheshire, England
BattingRight-handed
BowlingSlow left-arm orthodox
RoleBowler
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 157)9 November 2017 v Australia
Last Test14 December 2023 v India
ODI debut (cap 128)8 October 2016 v West Indies
Last ODI18 July 2023 v Australia
T20I debut (cap 40)3 July 2016 v Pakistan
Last T20I10 December 2023 v India
Domestic team information
YearsTeam
2013–2014Cheshire
2015–presentLancashire
2016–2019Lancashire Thunder
2019–2020Trailblazers
2020–presentNorth West Thunder
2021–presentManchester Originals
2022Supernovas
2022/23Sydney Sixers
2023–presentUP Warriorz
Career statistics
Competition WTest WODI WT20I WLA
Matches 7 58 76 106
Runs scored 140 319 210 950
Batting average 20.00 11.00 16.15 15.07
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/4
Top score 35 33* 33* 74
Balls bowled 2,064 3,176 1,677 5,508
Wickets 32 92 109 180
Bowling average 31.25 21.40 15.00 17.37
5 wickets in innings 2 1 0 3
10 wickets in match 1 0 0 0
Best bowling 5/63 6/36 4/18 6/12
Catches/stumpings 5/– 18/– 22/– 30/–
Source: CricketArchive, 18 December 2023

Sophie Ecclestone (born 6 May 1999) is an English cricketer who plays for Lancashire, North West Thunder, Manchester Originals, UP Warriorz and England.[1][2][3][4] In December 2018, the International Cricket Council (ICC) named her the Emerging Player of the Year.[5] At the end of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup in March 2020, she became the world's number one bowler in Women's Twenty20 International (WT20I) cricket.[6] In July 2021, Ecclestone was named the ICC Women's Player of the Month for June 2021.[7]

Early life

Ecclestone was born in Chester, Cheshire,[1] and raised in Helsby, a village in the same county.[8] From when she was a young child, she, her older brother, James, and her father, Paul, played cricket or football outside their home, on a daily basis.[8] She also displayed proficiency at cricket.[6]

Ecclestone considers that her brother James, who taught her how to play both football and cricket, has been the biggest influence on her career.[9][10] She received her formal cricketing education at Alvanley Cricket Club in Helsby,[6] where her father was the junior coordinator,[8] and she was the only girl on the club's pathway.[9][11] She joined the club's junior section at seven years of age,[12] and entered the Cheshire U13s pathway just two years later.[8] When Ecclestone made her debut for the Alvanley boys' first team, James was one of her teammates.[11]

According to former member of the Cheshire men's team and Alvanley's then left-arm spinner, Robin Fisher, who helped Ecclestone to discover the art of finger spinning, she was so naturally talented that she did not need much coaching.[8][11] Even then, some of the Alvanley boys speculated that she would play for England when she was older, but at that time she was just playing cricket for fun.[11] By 2022, the club had made her a life member.[8]

Ecclestone attended Helsby High School.[12] On one occasion, she embarrassed her new school headmaster, after he allowed her to participate in an informal cricket match during the after school club. In 2020, she told BBC Sport:

"I don't think he realised I could actually play cricket ... My mum told him I could play and he said: 'Yeah, she can join in.'

I got all the boys out, and I bowled the headmaster first ball. He said to me afterwards: 'So, you're OK at cricket?'

He was so nice to me for the rest of school after that."[6]

In 2013 she started playing for the Cheshire women's county team.[13] She was then spotted by Lancashire, for which she signed and made her top-level domestic debut in 2015 at the age of 16.[8][13]

Career

Domestic

In April 2022, she was bought by the Manchester Originals for the 2022 season of The Hundred.[14]

Ecclestone during the one-off Test of the 2019 Women's Ashes

International

Ecclestone was then fast-tracked into England's Academy squad. In 2016, still aged 16, she was selected for the England Academy winter squad, and went on her first tour abroad, to Sri Lanka with the academy. During that tour, and despite suffering from homesickness, she took 16 wickets for the academy in a tri-series against Australia A and Sri Lanka A, including four wickets in a match against the latter team in Panagoda.[6][8][13]

On 3 July 2016, she made her WT20I debut at the age of 17, during Pakistan's tour of England.[13][15][16] During that match, she had the good fortune to take her first wicket with a full toss.[11] In September 2016 she was named in the England women's One Day International squad for their tour to the West Indies the following month.[17]

As the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup approached, Ecclestone was in contention for selection to play for England, the ultimate winner of the tournament. However, she was still 17 years old, and had another round of exams to go before finishing school. Ecclestone, her parents and England's then coach Mark Robinson therefore decided that she would not play for England that summer.[6]

Ecclestone bowling for England during the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup
Ecclestone bowling for England during the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup

Since passing those exams, Ecclestone has been a fixture in the England team. Her height of 6 feet (1.8 m), which gives her extra angle, along with her ability to control the ball, makes her suitable for all three formats of the game.[6] On 9 November 2017, she made her Test debut for England women against Australia women in the Women's Ashes.[18]

In October 2018, she was named in England's squad for the 2018 ICC Women's World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies.[19][20] Ahead of the tournament, she was named as one of the players to watch.[21]

In February 2019, she was awarded a full central contract by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for 2019.[22][23] In June 2019, the ECB named her in England's squad for their opening match against Australia to contest the Women's Ashes.[24][25]

In January 2020, she was named in England's squad for the 2020 ICC Women's T20 World Cup in Australia.[26] On 1 March 2020, in England's final group match of the tournament, Ecclestone took her 50th wicket in WT20Is,[27] and her 100th wicket in international cricket.[28] She became the youngest woman to take 50 wickets in WT20I cricket, which she achieved in 34 matches. With eight tournament wickets at an average of 6.12 and an economy rate of just 3.23, she also emerged from the tournament as the world's number one WT20I bowler.[6][29]

Ecclestone was the first England bowler to hold that distinction since Anya Shrubsole in 2016, and the first England spinner to do so since Danielle Hazell in 2015.[6][11] She told The Cricketer in June 2020 that when the news was released, it was both overwhelming and the fulfilment of a dream she had had for several years.[11]

On 18 June 2020, Ecclestone was named in a squad of 24 players to begin training ahead of international women's fixtures starting in England following the COVID-19 pandemic.[30][31] In February 2021, during England's tour of New Zealand, Ecclestone took her 100th international wicket.[32] In June 2021, Ecclestone was named as in England's Test squad for their one-off match against India.[33][34]

In December 2021, Ecclestone was named in England's squad for their tour to Australia to contest the Women's Ashes.[35] In February 2022, she was named in England's team for the 2022 Women's Cricket World Cup in New Zealand.[36] During the tournament, she took a total of 21 wickets, just two short of Lyn Fullston's all-time record for ODI World Cup tournaments; her scalps included three back-to-back three-wicket hauls.[9] On 31 March 2022, in the semi-final match of the World Cup against South Africa, Ecclestone took her first five-wicket haul in WODIs, with 6/36.[37]

In July 2022, she was named in England's team for the cricket tournament at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.[38]

Personal life

Ecclestone has a fiancé, Craig, and an ambition to become a pilot, as well as a World Cup winner. However, she told BBC Sport in 2020 that Craig had been "not thrilled" at the prospect of accompanying her on a flying lesson flight her parents had given her for her twenty-first birthday.[6][8]

Ecclestone supports Everton Football Club.[9]

References

  1. ^ a b "Sophie Ecclestone". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 12 August 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Sophie Ecclestone: England bowler on crochet, cricket & homesickness". BBC Sport. Retrieved 23 June 2020.
  3. ^ "20 women cricketers for the 2020s". The Cricket Monthly. Retrieved 24 November 2020.
  4. ^ "The Hundred 2021 - full squad lists". BBC Sport. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Ecclestone beats Rodrigues, Yadav to Emerging Player award". International Cricket Council. Archived from the original on 31 December 2018. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Lofthouse, Amy (23 June 2020). "Sophie Ecclestone: England bowler on crochet, cricket & homesickness". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  7. ^ "Conway and Ecclestone voted ICC Players of the Month for June". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 12 July 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Thompson-Radford, Hannah (30 March 2022). "The making of England's world number one". BBC Sport. Retrieved 2 April 2022.
  9. ^ a b c d Bishop, Tony (12 May 2022). "Sophie Ecclestone loves the FairBreak Invitational Spirit and is happy to discuss the Elephant (or rather Kangaroo) in the room". Guerilla Cricket. Retrieved 17 May 2022.
  10. ^ Ghosh, Annesha (24 June 2022). "Sophie Ecclestone is world No. 1, but she's looking to fill an important gap in her CV". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 8 July 2022.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Friend, Nick (16 June 2020). ""It's like being back at school": The coming of age of England's young spinners". The Cricketer. Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  12. ^ a b Cheshire Chronicle (20 April 2015). "Fifteen-year-old Helsby High School student joins England Women's cricket team in Sri Lanka". CheshireLive. Retrieved 11 June 2021.
  13. ^ a b c d "Sophie Ecclestone". Kookaburra website. Kookaburra Sport. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  14. ^ "The Hundred 2022: latest squads as Draft picks revealed". BBC Sport. Retrieved 5 April 2022.
  15. ^ "Uncapped Ecclestone in England Women's squad for Pakistan T20s". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 3 July 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Pakistan Women tour of England, 1st T20I: England Women v Pakistan Women at Bristol, Jul 3, 2016". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 5 July 2016. Retrieved 3 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Langston, Ecclestone selected in ODI squad". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 20 September 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Only Test (D/N), England Women tour of Australia at Sydney, Nov 9-12 2017". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 19 July 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  19. ^ "England name Women's World T20 squad". England and Wales Cricket Board. Archived from the original on 4 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  20. ^ "Three uncapped players in England's Women's World T20 squad". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 4 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  21. ^ "Players to watch in ICC Women's World T20 2018". International Cricket Council. Archived from the original on 9 November 2018. Retrieved 8 November 2018.
  22. ^ "Freya Davies awarded England Women contract ahead of India tour". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  23. ^ "Freya Davies 'thrilled' at new full central England contract". International Cricket Council. Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 6 February 2019.
  24. ^ "Fran Wilson called into England squad for Ashes ODI opener against Australia". ESPNcricinfo. Archived from the original on 29 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  25. ^ "England announce squad for opening Women's Ashes ODI". Times and Star. Archived from the original on 29 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  26. ^ "England Women announce T20 World Cup squad and summer fixtures". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
  27. ^ "Nat Sciver scores fifty, Sophie Ecclestone bags three as England secure semi-final berth". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  28. ^ "England beat West Indies to seal semi-final spot". International Cricket Council. Retrieved 1 March 2020.
  29. ^ "Sophie Ecclestone: 'I want to be one of the best that's ever played women's cricket'". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 25 May 2020.
  30. ^ "England Women confirm back to training plans". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  31. ^ "England Women return to training with September tri-series on the cards". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 18 June 2020.
  32. ^ "Tammy Beaumont, Heather Knight sweep England to eight-wicket victory over New Zealand". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  33. ^ "Emily Arlott earns call-up to England Women Test squad". England and Wales Cricket Board. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  34. ^ "Emily Arlott earns maiden call-up as England announce squad for India Test". Women's CricZone. Retrieved 9 June 2021.
  35. ^ "Heather Knight vows to 'fight fire with fire' during Women's Ashes". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 17 December 2021.
  36. ^ "Charlie Dean, Emma Lamb in England's ODI World Cup squad". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 10 February 2022.
  37. ^ "Women's World Cup: England beat South Africa to book final date with Australia". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  38. ^ "Alice Capsey named in England's Commonwealth Games squad, Tammy Beaumont omitted". ESPNcricinfo. Retrieved 15 July 2022.

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