For the second time in as many years, England women’s cricketers, Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards, go head to head in the final shortlist of nominations for the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2009. The winner will be announced on 1st October in Johannesburg.
Edwards, the winner of the award in 2008, captained the England squad to victory in the ICC World Cup, the ICC World Twenty20, the Ashes and a NatWest One Day International series against Australia this year, making England the best in the world in all formats.
At the time, Edwards was the youngest player to represent England, aged sixteen, and has continued to go from strength to strength in the sport. She took over the captaincy from Clare Connor in 2006, and in 2008 she led the team to a record number of seventeen wins in a row.
Her loyalty is not just evident with the international side, but also when she captains her county side, Kent. This year, Kent became the LV= County Championship winners for the third time in four years, following an undefeated season in ten matches.
Her dedication and commitment to her team and country is second to none and has been one of the main drivers for the success of this England team. It has also led to her being awarded the MBE for her services to cricket, on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list this summer.
Claire Taylor has been a key player within the England team for eleven years and her ever increasing tally of runs shows no sign of slowing down. Her 101 against Sri Lanka in the ICC World Cup match, her highest score for England this season, is one of many outstanding performances. She passed fifty twice in four innings during the ICC World Cup, and was not out three times. Her innings against Australia in the semi-final of the ICC World Twenty20, seventy-six off fifty-three balls, was deemed to be one of the standout performances of both the men’s and women’s events. In the final of the ICC World Twenty20 it was fitting that Claire hit the winning runs against New Zealand at Lord’s.
In March, Taylor was voted player of the tournament at the ICC World Cup and three months later received the same award at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20. However, her most prestigious award to date was being named as one of Wisden’s Five Cricketers of the year. This is the first time that Wisden have awarded the accolade to a female in its 146 year history.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS