11182017

Cricketer, footballer, author – is there nothing 213-run Perry can’t do?

Ellyse Perry

Ellyse Perry said she “had an amazing time” batting towards her record total of 213 not out

Ellyse Perry’s unique achievements make for remarkable reading.

She’s scored a wonder goal in a football World Cup quarter-final.

She took three wickets with a broken ankle as Australia won cricket’s World Cup in 2013.

She writes children’s books inspiring young girls to take up sport.

And on Sunday she scored an unbeaten 213 in her seventh Ashes series – the highest Test score by an Australian woman – that could set up a series victory.

Is there nothing Perry cannot do?

At 16, she became the youngest person – male or female – to represent Australia at cricket.

Just two weeks later, she made her senior debut for the country’s football team.

Now 27, she is officially the most marketable figure in Australian sport.

Three times she has won the Women’s World Twenty20 – in 2014, 2012 and 2010, when she was named player of the match in the final, having bowled through a dramatic last over to beat New Zealand.

She was player of the series in the 2015 Ashes, topping both the bowling and batting statistics for either side with 264 runs and 16 wickets.

Between 2014 and 2016 she scored 17 one-day-international fifties over 23 innings, the best-ever such streak for any cricketer.

Ellyse Perry in action for Australia's football team<!–

After appearing at the 2009 Cricket World Cup, Perry played in the 2011 football World Cup, scoring in the quarter-final against Sweden

In April, Wisden named her as the leading woman cricketer in the world.

She has achieved enormous success at elite level across both cricket and football.

A central defender, Perry helped her country reach the last eight of the 2011 World Cup, scoring a brilliant goal in their 3-1 defeat by Sweden.

Now though, it’s cricket that has taken precedence. She says it’s just “not possible” to combine the two, and that’s “a positive thing”.

“At the moment it is really hard to miss it too much because there are just so many wonderful things going on in cricket and none more so than this Ashes, probably the biggest series that I have played in,” she told the Daily Telegraph.

“From that point of view, while I miss playing soccer, it is a wonderful development.”

Surprisingly, before Saturday’s starring role in Sydney, Perry had never before reached three figures for Australia.

Apparently she’s no good at netball, and “terrible with technology”.

And there was a brief moment of minor embarrassment in Sydney.

On 194, Perry launched a ball high into the night sky and ran to celebrate reaching 200, with the crowd cheering a six.

But it was all a little too early – the third umpire ruled that the ball had bounced just in front of the rope.

Thankfully for Perry, she drove for four in the next over to pass the landmark, and she still found time to hit a six before captain Rachael Haynes declared.

Perry said it was “the second most embarrassing thing I’ve done in this match”. In first place was “taking a catch after the ball hit me”.

She added: “I had an amazing time out there today batting with all the girls and just taking in what was such a special day, just a really great event for women’s cricket.

“I had a lot of fun, and the fans’ support was just incredible.”

It’s not hard to see why.

What they said about Perry’s innings

Australia wicketkeeper Alyssa Healy: “It was very special for me to be there, I was fist pumping more than her when we were running down the wicket!

“She went up another gear when we needed and full credit to her. She is a very special player. She was very embarrassed about [celebrating early] but it’s not often you get to celebrate a double century, so why not do it twice!”

England pace bowler Anya Shrubsole told BBC Test Match Special: “We came up against someone who played a sublime innings. I don’t remember her giving a chance. She’s obviously got a really good technique and she batted brilliantly. We really stuck at it, but sometimes you have to hold your hands up and say ‘well batted’.”

England captain Heather Knight: “She batted very well, stuck to her game plan and gave us pretty much no chances.

“It was one of the best things I’ve seen in an Ashes Test match and she’s obviously put the game firmly in their favour.”

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