Marie Kelly: The Star of English Women’s Cricket
Marie Kelly is an English cricketer who is currently the captain of Warwickshire, as well as playing for The Blaze and Trent Rockets. She plays primarily as a right-handed batter. She led Warwickshire to the 2019 Women’s Twenty20 Cup title, and was the leading run-scorer in Division 1 that year. She also holds the record for the fastest fifty in Women’s Twenty20 cricket, scoring it in just 15 deliveries.
Kelly was born on 9 February 1996 in Birmingham, West Midlands. She has a degree in Sports Science from Loughborough University. Her twin sister, Sian, played for Warwickshire between 2011 and 2017.
Kelly made her county debut in 2011, for Warwickshire against Cheshire. She scored 12 runs and bowled 2 overs for no wicket. In 2012, in two innings over one weekend playing for Warwickshire Under-17s, Kelly scored 201 * and 110 * and soon after became a regular in Warwickshire’s first team.
Kelly began captaining Warwickshire in 2015, standing-in for Rebecca Grundy. She became permanent captain of the side in 2016. In 2019, Kelly led her side to victory in the Twenty20 Cup. Warwickshire topped Division 1 by one point after beating runners-up Lancashire in the final match, with Kelly top-scoring with 76. She also ended the season as the leading run-scorer in Division 1.
In 2020, Kelly was announced as part of the Central Sparks squad for the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy. She scored two half-centuries on the same day in a double-header against Gloucestershire, 99 from 61 deliveries in the first match and 60 from 27 deliveries in the second. In the second match, her half-century came from 15 deliveries, which is the fastest recorded fifty in Women’s Twenty20 cricket.
Kelly also played in the Women’s Cricket Super League, for Loughborough Lightning in 2017 and Southern Vipers in 2019. She played one match for Loughborough, in which she scored 18 runs against Western Storm. She played five matches for the Vipers, scoring 13 runs at an average of 4.33.
Kelly is currently playing for The Blaze and Trent Rockets in the new domestic competitions launched by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) in 2020 and 2021 respectively. She is one of the most talented and consistent batters in the country, and has been part of the England Development Squad since 2018.
Kelly is a star of English women’s cricket, and has a bright future ahead of her. She is an inspiration to many young girls who aspire to play cricket at the highest level.
Some of Kelly’s achievements and awards include:
- She was named the Warwickshire Women’s Player of the Year in 2016 and 2019.
- She was selected for the England Academy tour to Sri Lanka in 2018, where she scored 86 runs in four matches.
- She was named in the ICC Women’s T20I Team of the Year in 2019.
- She was awarded the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy Player of the Match award for her 99 against Gloucestershire in 2020.
- She was nominated for the PCA Women’s Player of the Year award in 2020 and 2021.
Kelly is not only a brilliant cricketer, but also a role model and a leader. She is passionate about promoting women’s cricket and encouraging more girls to take up the sport. She is involved in various initiatives and programmes run by Warwickshire Cricket Board, ECB and Chance to Shine, such as coaching sessions, school visits and mentoring schemes. She is also an ambassador for the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA), and supports their campaigns on mental health, diversity and inclusion.
Kelly has a lot of fans and admirers, both within and outside the cricketing world. She has a large following on social media platforms, where she shares her insights, experiences and opinions on various topics. She is also a regular guest on podcasts, radio shows and TV programmes, where she talks about her cricketing journey, challenges and aspirations. She is often praised for her honesty, humour and eloquence.