Lisa Sthalekar

Lisa Sthalekar

Player Bio

Lisa Sthalekar, a name synonymous with excellence in women's cricket, has been a cornerstone of the Australian women's cricket team. An all-rounder in the truest sense, she has made significant contributions both as a batter and a bowler. Her journey from being an adopted child to becoming one of the most celebrated cricketers in women's cricket is nothing short of inspiring. In this article, we delve into the life and cricketing career of Lisa Sthalekar, exploring her early years, domestic career, and the milestones she achieved along the way.

Early Life and Entry into Cricket

Lisa was born in Pune, India on August 13, 1979, and was adopted by a family of Indian and Australian ancestry. 

She moved to Sydney, Australia, at a young age, where she was introduced to the world of cricket. Her father, a cricket enthusiast, played a pivotal role in nurturing her love for the sport. Lisa was a natural athlete and excelled in various sports, but it was cricket that captured her heart. She joined the New South Wales (NSW) junior cricket team at the age of 13, and it didn't take long for her to make her mark. Her exceptional skills and dedication to the sport were evident early on, setting the stage for a remarkable career ahead.

Domestic Career

Lisa Sthalekar started her domestic career in 1997–98, when she made her WNCL debut with the New South Wales Breakers. As a result of her impressive batting and bowling, she was immediately elevated to a pivotal role. 

Over the years, she became an integral part of the Breakers, helping them secure numerous WNCL titles.

Her batting technique was elegant, and her off-spin bowling was lethal, making her a valuable asset to any team she played for. In the 2007-08 season, she had an extraordinary run, scoring 935 runs and taking 20 wickets, which earned her the NSW Women's Cricketer of the Year award. Her domestic performances did not go unnoticed, and she was soon called up to represent Australia on the international stage.

In her domestic career, Lisa played a total of 117 matches, scoring 3,913 runs at an average of 41.20, including six centuries and 26 half-centuries. As a bowler, she took 141 wickets at an average of 25.62. Her all-round capabilities made her one of the most sought-after players in domestic cricket, and she continued to dominate the scene until her retirement in 2013.

Lisa's domestic career was not just limited to Australia; she also had stints in England, playing for the Berkshire women's cricket team. Her overseas experience further honed her skills and provided her with invaluable exposure, preparing her for the rigours of international cricket.

Her domestic achievements laid the foundation for what would become an illustrious international career, filled with records and milestones. Lisa Sthalekar's journey in domestic cricket serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers, proving that with hard work, dedication, and a love for the game, one can reach great heights.

Lisa Sthalekar's early life and domestic career set the stage for her to become one of the most celebrated cricketers in women's cricket history. From her humble beginnings in Pune to her record-breaking performances for New South Wales, her journey has been awe-inspiring, to say the least. As we delve deeper into her international career and achievements in the subsequent sections, it becomes clear that Lisa Sthalekar is not just a cricketing legend but also a trailblazer who has left an indelible mark on the sport.

International Career

Lisa Sthalekar's international debut came in 2001 when she was selected for the Australian women's cricket team to play against England. Her entry into the international arena was marked by her consistent performances, both as a batter and a bowler. Over the years, she became a linchpin for the Australian team, participating in various international tournaments, including the Women's Cricket World Cup and the Women's T20 World Cup.

In her first World Cup in 2005, Lisa played a crucial role in Australia's triumph, showcasing her all-round abilities. Her performances in the tournament were a testament to her skill and dedication to the sport. She continued to be a vital part of the Australian setup, and her contributions were instrumental in Australia's success in the 2010 and 2012 Women's T20 World Cups.

Lisa's international career is adorned with impressive statistics. She played 125 One Day Internationals (ODIs), scoring 2,728 runs at an average of 30.65, and took 146 wickets at an average of 24.97. In T20 Internationals, she played 54 matches, scoring 769 runs and taking 60 wickets. She is one of the few female cricketers to achieve the double of 1,000 runs and 100 wickets in ODIs, a milestone that speaks volumes about her all-round capabilities.

Achievements and Milestones

Throughout her career, Lisa Sthalekar has accomplished a great deal, marking her as one of the finest female cricketers ever. She broke a record by being the first woman in ODI history to achieve both a thousand run score and a hundred wicket haul. 

She was also named the Women's International Cricketer of the Year by Cricket Australia in 2007 and 2008.

In 2007, she was part of the Australian team that won the Quadrangular series, where she was named the Player of the Tournament for her outstanding performances. Her contributions to the Australian team's victories in the 2005 Women's Cricket World Cup and the 2010 and 2012 Women's T20 World Cups further solidified her reputation as a match-winner.

Her excellence on the field was recognised with numerous awards, including the prestigious Belinda Clark Award in 2007 and 2008. She was also named in the ICC Women's ODI Team of the Year multiple times, highlighting her consistent performances at the international level.

Retirement and Post-Retirement Career

After an illustrious career spanning over a decade, Lisa Sthalekar announced her retirement from international cricket in 2013. Her retirement came after Australia's victorious campaign in the 2013 Women's Cricket World Cup, where she played a pivotal role. It was a fitting end to a remarkable career, as she bowed out on a high, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.

Post-retirement, Lisa has been actively involved in various roles to promote and develop cricket, especially women's cricket. She has taken up commentary and is a regular voice in cricket broadcasts, sharing her insights and expertise with a global audience. Her articulate analysis and deep understanding of the game have made her one of the most respected commentators in cricket.

In addition to her commentary stints, Lisa has been involved in coaching and mentoring roles, nurturing the next generation of cricketers. She is also an advocate for gender equality in sports and has been vocal about the need for better facilities and opportunities for women cricketers.

Her contributions to cricket, both on and off the field, were recognised when she was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame and the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame, becoming the 27th Australian and the fifth female cricketer to receive this honour.

Lisa Sthalekar's international career, achievements, and milestones paint the portrait of a cricketing legend who broke barriers and set records. Her post-retirement career has been equally impactful, as she continues to contribute to the sport in various capacities. Lisa Sthalekar is not just a cricketing icon; she is a trailblazer who has inspired countless aspiring cricketers and has played a significant role in shaping the future of women's cricket.

When did Lisa Sthalekar make her international debut?
Lisa made her international debut in 2001 against England.