Born 20th May 1989 in Whitechapel, Middlesex, Sarah Taylor played Test, ODI and T20I cricket for England and is widely considered to be the best wicket keeper the game has seen.
Taylor has played 226 international matches for England and despite having retired twice from international cricket she has signed with Welsh Fire in the Hundred for 2021.
A free flowing right-hand batter and wicket keeper, Sarah made her debut for Sussex (List A) in 2004 in the same team as England captain Clare Connor. She batted at number ten and made 2 not out. In her second match, against Kent, she was trapped in front by Charlotte Edwards’ leg-breaks for a duck. She did not keep wickets however there were keen eyes on this prodigy.
In the final of the 2003 Women’s Under-17 County Championship the fourteen year old top scored for Sussex with 76 helping them to win the trophy. In 2004 she played both Under-15 and Under-17. In a 35 over match she scored 186 not out. (Get your head around that!) Little wonder she made her debut in senior cricket that year at fifteen years of age.Embed from Getty Images
A breakthrough innings of 81 came in 2005 against Yorkshire and then selection in the England Development squad for the European Championships in 2005. Against Ireland, 55 not out. Scotland, 83 not out. Netherlands, 90 not out.
By 2006 Sarah is now the full time wicket keeper for Sussex and an important part of the batting line-up. It is also in 2006 that she makes her debut for England in all formats, against India. Her captain was Charlotte Edwards.
Test cricket is the least glittering in terms of stats. Sarah played ten Tests making 300 runs at 18.75 with a top score of 40. She took 18 catches and 2 stumpings to give her 20 dismissals.
Sarah scored 4056 runs in her 126 ODIs with a top score of 147, an average of 38.26 with seven centuries and twenty half centuries. She took 87 catches and 51 stumpings. The 138 dismissals is the all-time best for England and second in the world. She played in three World Cups, 2009, 2013 and 2017, with victories in two of them.Embed from Getty Images
In 2008 Sarah shared a 268 run partnership with Caroline Atkins against India at Lords. It was then a record first wicket partnership in ODIs and remains 4th highest overall. In 2017 she shared a second wicket partnership with Tammy Beaumont of 275, then a record and third highest overall.
In 90 T20 Internationals Sarah scored 2177 runs with a high score of 77, one of sixteen half centuries and a strike rate of 110.67. With 23 catches and 51 stumpings she has 74 dismissals, the highest for England and second of all-time.
Those 51 stumpings. Most often a wicket keeper has far more catches than stumpings. Despite all of the brilliance she has shown with the bat it is with the gloves that Sarah Taylor is truly gifted and in this discipline she is a renowned artist. The batter only has to move a whisker outside of the crease and Taylor has already removed the bails and both batter and viewer are left scratching their heads.
Elsewhere around the world Sarah has played for Wellington in New Zealand and for both South Australia and the Adelaide Strikers where her work with leg-break bowler Amanda-Jade Wellington was poetry in motion. While in Adelaide she became the first female to play men’s first grade cricket in Australia. Perhaps there is a window for a return to international cricket in the future? The entire cricket world would stand as one in applause.Embed from Getty Images