'Hard to believe': Cricket world erupts over shock Ellyse Perry news

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Ellyse Perry, pictured here during an Australian Women's Ashes squad training session.
Ellyse Perry looks on during an Australian Women's Ashes squad training session. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Cricket fans were left gobsmacked on Thursday when Ellyse Perry was left out of Australia's side for the first T20 against England in the women's Ashes.

Australia made arguably the biggest selection decision in recent history by dropping the superstar all-rounder before their nine-wicket win at Adelaide Oval.

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Perry's bombshell omission came after a week of conjecture about her spot in the side, but is still a significant shock given her standing as one of game's greatest ever players.

She has battled to regain her best with the ball since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted her comeback from a hamstring injury two years ago.

Coach Matthew Mott also noted that Australia were after middle-order players who could produce a strike rate of 150 when quizzed on Perry's position earlier this week.

“It’s a huge call, but testament to the depth of Australian cricket at the moment they can afford to leave someone of her caliber out,” Isa Guha said on Fox Cricket.

“She’s arguably the greatest player that’s ever lived in women’s cricket.

“I know her preparation hasn’t been ideal, I think she joined the team quite late, so not getting a lot of game time under her belt before this series.

“I think they would’ve looked at her for sure, but they’ve got some really promising young guns coming into this side with ball in hand – and with bat they’ve got so many players that have excellent strike rates and have shown that in the WBBL.”

Perry is still regarded as one of the world's best in the 50-over and Test formats and is certain to retain her spot when selections are made for those matches.

“She is someone who can continue to grow her game and improve,” former Aussie star Alex Blackwell said.

“This might be a little kicker for her to fight back into the T20 side – of course we’ll see her in the Test and the one-dayers – but it’s a very scary, strong side that can leave out Ellyse Perry.”

Tahlia McGrath stars as Aussies crush England in T20

Tahlia McGrath produced one of the finest games in T20 history to celebrate her coronation as Australia's chief T20 all-rounder after Perry's omission.

McGrath made an emphatic statement with 3-26 and an unbeaten 91 off 49 balls.

Her spell with the ball dramatically changed the match, restricting England to 4-169 when they looked likely to post something closer to 190.

She then helped pull off the biggest T20 chase in Australia's history, coming in at No.3 and taking control of the game.

Tahlia McGrath, pictured here in Australia's win over England in the first Ashes T20.
Tahlia McGrath was the star as Australia beat England in the first Ashes T20. (Photo by Sarah Reed - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

It marked the first time in history a female player has scored 75 or more and taken three wickets in a T20 international.

It was McGrath's player-of-the-series performance against India last year that sparked the squeeze that pushed Perry out of Australia's T20 team, holding her spot when Rachael Haynes returned from injury.

She hit 13 boundaries and a big six in her knock, bringing up a 28-ball half-century as Australia chased down the target with three overs to spare.

"When you look at the players sitting on the sidelines, it's such a quality side," McGrath said.

"I wasn't even sure if I was going to get the nod tonight to play.

"So when you get your opportunity you've got to make the most of it, because there are plenty waiting in line more than capable."

with AAP

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