2023 was a revelation concerning how a lot of stars emerged who were game changers in their measure and are on the path to becoming bonafide legends. The ICC Emerging Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2023 is a perfect testament to these young players who have changed the landscape of cricket this year and have made a valuable contribution to the women’s cricket ecosystem.
Let’s see who the nominees are!
Phoebe Litchfield (Australia)
The 20-year-old left-handed batter hailing from Orange, New South Wales has captured the imagination of the nation like no other cricketer. A breakout year, in 2023 she amassed runs at will as she scored 87 runs in test cricket at an average of 21.75, 344 runs in ODI cricket at an average of 49.14 and 88 runs in T20Is at a stellar average of 88. Litchfield had a strong start to the year, showcasing her form with back-to-back unbeaten half-centuries in the first two home ODI matches against Pakistan.
Although she narrowly missed being selected for Australia’s squad at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup, Litchfield made a remarkable comeback to international cricket where she delivered a standout performance, earning the Player of the Match title and achieving her first career century with an unbeaten 106* against Ireland. Even in her first T20I match of the year against the West Indies in October, she smashed five sixes and remained unbeaten with a quick 52* from just 19 deliveries.
Later, she contributed a solid innings of 27 in the third and final ODI against the West Indies, helping secure a victory. In the ODI series against India, she was the top run-getter for Australia and struck three back-to-back fifties which was remarkable.
Marufa Akter (Bangladesh)
Making an impact in the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup, Marufa Akter has moved from strength to strength to become such an integral player for the Bangladesh senior side. Having scalped 9 wickets at 24.77 in ODIs and 10 T20I wickets at 23.30, she has been the breakout star that her team has wanted for far too long. Ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in February, Marufa, with only a handful of international matches under her belt, burst onto the scene, leaving an indelible mark in her debut major ICC tournament.
In her third T20I match, the young right-arm bowler created havoc in Sri Lanka’s batting lineup, claiming two wickets in consecutive balls and ultimately securing three wickets in the match. Her impressive figures of 3/23 showcased her promising talent on the international stage. Facing powerhouse Australia in the T20 World Cup, Marufa added another feather to her cap by dismissing the renowned Beth Mooney. By the end of the tournament, the 18-year-old had accumulated a total of four wickets with an admirable economy rate of 6.31.
Continuing her stellar performances, Marufa showcased her skills in white-ball matches against India on home soil mid-year. Towards the end of 2023, she solidified her position on the Bangladesh side during a series against Pakistan and South Africa, becoming one of the first names on the team sheet.
Lauren Bell (England)
Lauren Bell has been the find of the century for England whose pace attack has been missing the likes of Katherine Sciver-Brunt and Anya Shrubsole who retired. With 6 Test wickets at 31.83, 7 ODI wickets at 27.71 and 9 T20I wickets at 26, she will savour this year and one can consider it a year she announced her arrival to the world. During the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023, Bell showcased her prowess by securing three wickets in four appearances.
Her commendable performances extended beyond the T20 format when she delivered strong contributions across all three formats in England’s multi-format Ashes series against Australia in the middle of the year. Bell wrapped up the year with a series of noteworthy efforts, establishing herself as the pace spearhead for England during their tour of India. Her consistent displays in all three formats hint at a promising and enduring career ahead for the talented cricketer.
Darcey Carter (Scotland)
An associate nation’s player making it to the nominees of an award like this proves how remarkable Darcey Carter has been. The Scottish all-rounder broke onto the scene after a good run in the ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup. In 2023, she scored 224 runs in T20Is while also pocketing 13 T20I wickets at 12.07. Demonstrating noteworthy scores and contributing with her off-spin, Carter played a pivotal role in Scotland’s advancement to the T20 World Cup Qualifier next year. This progression was secured through their performance in the European regional finals.
In a T20I series later in the year, Carter exhibited her confidence by crafting a solid innings of 45 against the formidable Ireland. Moreover, she marked her ODI debut against the same opponents, showcasing her versatility across formats. Carter’s impact extended beyond her batting, as she also made a mark with the ball, claiming three wickets in the series.