The outstanding year that the England women’s cricket team has enjoyed was recognised during the Sunday Times Sportswomen of the Year awards held on Tuesday 3rd November at the David Beckham Academy in south-east London with the team being awarded Team of the Year and Holly Colvin winning Young Sportswoman of the Year. In addition Rachael Heyhoe-Flint was presented with the CCPR Lifetime Achievement Award.
The England women won the Team of the Year award for a second successive year to cap 12 months that has seen the team win the ICC Women’s World Cup in March in Australia, the ICC World Twenty20 in June in England and retain the Ashes in emphatic style, beating Australia 4-0.
Charlotte Edwards who is currently leading the team on a tour of the West Indies said: “It has been a phenomenal year for English women’s cricket and the success has been down to months of hard work and dedication from the entire squad. The team has taken plenty of confidence from the year so far and we’re looking forward to continuing to make good progress out in the West Indies at the moment and are building towards the World Twenty20 in April and the World Cup in 2013.”
Sussex player Holly Colvin won the UK Sport Young Sportsperson of the Year Award. Holly became the youngest cricketer to represent England, male or female, after being selected for the Ashes series back in 2005 at just 15 years old. Still only 20, Holly has already been a key member of three successful Ashes squads. Not only is she now ranked the number one bowler in the world within women’s one day international cricket, she also hit the winning runs in England’s victory at the ICC World Cup in Australia earlier this year. Holly was also the highest wicket taker throughout the ICC World Twenty20 taking a total of 9 wickets for 106 runs.
Rachael Heyhoe-Flint was awarded the CCPR Lifetime Achievement Award. Rachael is one of the most famous female cricketers in England representing her country for 22 years and captaining the side between 1966 and 1978. During her time as captain England were unbeaten in six test series and won the Women’s World cup in 1973.
Rachael’s individual achievements are no less impressive. She currently holds the world record of batting for eight and a half hours, scoring her career best of 176 against Australia at the Oval and was also the first female to score a six in test cricket. 22 years after playing for England for the last time, aged 43, Rachael was the first female to be admitted to the MCC at Lord’s and not long after was elected as a full member on the committee.
ECB chief executive David Collier said: "This has been an outstanding year for women's cricket in England and Wales and I would like to congratulate all involved not only for being honoured with these awards but also for the hard work and dedication they have shown for a number of years to get to this level. I would also like to congratulate Rachael Heyhoe-Flint on her award. Rachael has been a superb ambassador for our sport and has championed the development of women's cricket in this country for many years."
The team is currently in St Kitts, competing against the West Indies in three ODI’s and three Twenty20 matches to help prepare for their defence of the ICC World Twenty20 in April next year. The first ODI begins today, Wednesday 4th November.
FRANK UIJLENBROEK WORLDSPORTPICS