Ellyse Perry, now batting at a career-high No. 2 globally, attributes her recent success to the increasing professionalism of women's sports in Australia.
Since making history as the country's youngest cricketer at age 16, Perry has been unwavering in Australian women's sport.
Over the past decade, she has been a key member of two Australian national teams, playing for the Southern Stars of Australian women's cricket and the Socceroos of Australian football.
The online sports statistician "Swamp" claims that Perry's 16 ODI fifties in her last 22 innings is the best record for any cricketer, male or female, over a 22-ODI span.
After AB de Villiers and Sir Viv Richards, New Zealand's Kane Williamson, who has 14, holds the next-best record.
In the first two games of the Stars' one-day series against South Africa, Ellyse Perry also improved on her greatest ODI score in consecutive innings with unbeaten efforts of 93 and 95.
After taking the first three games of the five-game series, the Stars' nine-game ODI winning streak ended with Sunday's stalemate. On Tuesday, in Coffs Harbour, is the season finale.
Ellyse Perry explained her stellar recent form in cricket to The New Daily by saying that she could devote more time to practising the sport.
This scenario, she said, "is quite indicative of women's sport in Australia at the moment" because of the link between playing standards and degrees of professionalism.
As Perry put it, "We can be playing a lot more, so there is more opportunity to be involved in games," and the team is also attending more and more training camps together.
"Not to mention having more and more domestic cricket, so rather than playing less football, there has been more opportunity to play cricket, which always helps development.
Ellyse Perry has spent most of her career playing football and cricket for Australia but has recently decided to dedicate herself exclusively to cricket.
Her batting has helped her move up three spots to a tie for second place with India's Mithali Raj behind Australia's captain Meg Lanning.
She is also the number four bowler and the number two all-around player.
Since the 2003 merger of the Australian Cricket Board and the Women's Cricket Association, Cricket Australia has worked to raise the prominence of women's cricket in Australia.
Ellyse Perry said, "A lot of other sports in Australia at the moment are having more and more matches and competitions for women to play in, and that helps us improve."
Female cricketers are the highest-paid athletes in Australia, and Perry's home state club, the NSW Breakers, turned professional last month.
Some Southern Stars now earn over $100,000 annually thanks to Cricket Australia's April announcement that the compensation pool for its elite players will increase from $2.36 million to $4.23 million.
The Southern Stars' upcoming schedule features three Twenty20 (T20) matches against New Zealand after their fifth and final ODI against South Africa on Tuesday.
In the new year, they will play three one-day internationals and three Twenty20s against India. Contrast the success of the Australian women's team with that of the Australian men's squad to understand the rise of professional women’s sport.
The Australian men's team fell fourth in the world in Test rankings after suffering heavy defeats in Sri Lanka (3-0) and South Africa (2-1). Meanwhile, Ellyse Perry holds the top spot in the women's world rankings (one rating covers Test, ODI, and T20 matches).
How good is Ellyse Perry?
Perry has won the Belinda Clark Award three times, is a three-time ICC Cricketer of the Year, was named the ICC One-Day International and Twenty20 International Cricketer of the Decade, was named the Ashes Player of the Series three times, won eight World Championships and won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
What are some interesting facts about Ellyse Perry?
The Sydney-born all-rounder is the first player to ever play for Australia in the World Cups in both cricket and football. Perry created history when, in July 2007, before her 17th birthday, she played in her first senior international cricket match, the second ODI of the Rose Bowl Series in Darwin.
Who is Elysse Perry's husband?
Elysse married Australian Rugby champion, Matt Touma. She married in 2013, but after 5 years of marriage, in 2020, she got separated from her husband.