David Collier, Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has today hailed the achievements of England women’s captain Charlotte Edwards and vice-captain Jenny Gunn, after the pair were awarded a CBE and MBE respectively for their services to cricket as part of the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Mr Collier also praised a host of other individuals who were recognised in this year’s list for their services to the recreational game. Ken Lake, who has been General Secretary of the English Schools Cricket Association for more than 20 years and plays a key role in supporting ECB’s junior cricket competitions, was awarded an MBE.
Dr Paul Hawkins, whose computerised ball-tracking system, Hawk-Eye, helped revolutionise television coverage of cricket and is now an integral part of the Decision Review System (DRS), has been awarded an OBE.
Sue Drinkwater, who has scored for her local cricket club, Chedworth CC, in Gloucestershire for more than 30 years and won a NatWest OSCA (Outstanding Service to Cricket Award) from ECB last year, was awarded the British Empire Medal.
Four other members of the cricket community were also awarded British Empire Medals for their contribution to the sport: Jane Hannah, ECB’s National Volunteer and Participation Manager, Julie Cowley, event co-ordinator for the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 at Edgbaston Cricket Ground; Gordon Cooper, who has been involved in grassroots cricket in West Yorkshire for more than 40 years as a player, coach, administrator and youth organiser and Jack Greenwood, an 82-year-old volunteer with Denholme CC in Yorkshire who was the club’s scorer for more than 40 years and won a lifetime achievement award at last year’s NatWest OSCAs.
The CBE is the highlight of aremarkable year for Charlotte Edwards, having led England to back-to-back Women’s Ashes successes, as well as being instrumental in her team making the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 final in Bangladesh in March.
At the start of April Edwards also became only the second women’s player to ever be named as a Wisden Cricketer of the Year. This accolade was followed earlier this week (Monday June 9) when ECB named her as the England Women’s Cricketer of the Year – the fourth time she has won this award during her 18 year international career.
In 2008 Edwards was named as the ICC’s Women’s Player of the Year, and in 2009 led England to a double triumph in the ICC Women’s World Cup and ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament.
Jenny Gunn has been vice-captain of the England women’s team since 2010 and became England’s all-time leading international wicket-taker during the successful 2013 Women’s Ashes Series against Australia. Since making her England debut in 2004, the Nottinghamshire all-rounder has made over 200 appearances for her country across all formats of the game.
ECB Chief Executive, David Collier, said: “On behalf of everyone at the ECB, I would like to pass on our sincere congratulations to Charlotte Edwards and Jenny Gunn on their CBE and MBE awards. This is fitting recognition for both players after leading the England women’s side during an exceptionally successful 12 months for the team.
“Charlotte, Jenny and their England teammates are all wonderful ambassadors for the wider women’s game, and through their work with Chance to Shine they act as inspirational role models for young players in schools across the country.”
Commenting on her award, Charlotte Edwards said: “I am absolutely delighted. This is a huge honour and rounds-off an extraordinary year for me and the England women’s side. I am so proud of everything that the team has achieved over the last 12 months – to win back-to-back Women’s Ashes Series and reach an ICC World Twenty20 final is pretty special.”
Jenny Gunn added: “When I made my England debut ten years ago I never dreamed that I would be made an MBE – this is totally unexpected and something that I am immensely proud of and honoured to receive.”
Mr Collier also paid tribute to those individuals whose work within the wider cricket community has been recognised with honours. He said: “It’s fantastic that the work of unpaid volunteers like Ken Lake, Sue Drinkwater, Jack Greenwood and Gordon Cooper has been rewarded as their tireless work at grassroots level plays a vital role in sustaining our recreational game and bringing new people into the sport.
“ECB’s Jane Hannah has taken a lead role in promoting volunteering across our national network of clubs and leagues. Her award is richly deserved and recognises her outstanding work in establishing the vCricket programme which won a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award in 2013 and is closely linked to our annual NatWest OSCAs event which rewards cricket volunteers nationwide.
“This year Jane is working on engaging with the South Asian community across the game in England and Wales. Away from her hard work at ECB, Jane also practices what she preaches, and has volunteered for a number of years as chair of her local basketball club and more recently joining the Suffolk Sports Board.”
Julie Cowley also receives a British Empire Medal, which rewards a sustained, local contribution for innovative or high-impact work of a relatively short duration. Mr Collier added: “Julie and the rest of the administrative team at Edgbaston worked tirelessly behind the scenes last summer to make the ICC Champions Trophy a huge success and helped ensure that the final attended by the ICC Board and Chief Executives, was a memorable occasion for all concerned.”