Sarah Jane Taylor
May 20, 1989, London Hospital, Whitechapel, London
Right hand bat
Sarah Taylor set the standard for wicketkeepers - both male and female - standing up to the stmups throughout the 2010s, regularly going viral thanks to her lightning-fast glovework, with leg-side stumpings quickly becoming her trademark.
In the course of her career, Taylor played key roles in some of England Women's most memorable triumphs, including the World Cup and World T20 double in 2009, and the unforgettable home World Cup win in 2017, in which she produced key innings of 54 and 45 in England's semi-final and final victories over South Africa and India respectively, but it was her keeping that set her apart. "She is the best wicketkeeper in the world at the moment - male or female," Adam Gilchrist said in 2018.
One of the most naturally-talented players England have produced, Sarah Taylor burst on to the scene in 2006 with a run-a-ball 61 in her fourth ODI against India and a maiden century followed early the next year against Australia in Chennai.
Taylor kept out Brighton College's male keeper in for a spot in their first team and there was much interest in 2013 when it was suggested that she could appear for Sussex 2nd XI. That did not eventuate, but she made her debut in senior men's cricket for Walmley, in the Birmingham Premier League, later that year and went on to play grade cricket in Australia.
Later in her career, Taylor's anxiety led to semi-regular breaks from England duty. She took an extended break after England's semi-final defeat at the World T20 in India in 2016, and her appearances were managed carefully by the ECB - with her belated recall for the 2017 World Cup offset by her absence from last year's World T20 in the Caribbean.
She announced her retirement for international cricket late in 2019 after withdrawing from that summer's Ashes series, but was due to make a comeback for Welsh Fire in the inaugural season of the Hundred in 2021.
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