Guha takes sports personality award

Arun Kang, Isa Guha & David Mbaziira

Isa Guha, centre, collects her Sports Personality of the Year award from Arun Kang and David Mbaziira of Sporting Equals

England women’s bowler Isa Guha is celebrating after being crowned Sports Personality of the Year at the British Asian Sports Awards.

The 24-year-old beat rugby player Tajiv Masson and badminton player Rajiv Ouseph to the prize, awarded to someone who has “excelled in their sport and who has been a role model to British Asians and others across the globe”.

Guha, who helped England win the World Cup, the World Twenty20 and the Ashes last year, was presented with her award at a glittering ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

She told “This tops off the massive year that I've had.

"It is an honour to receive this award, but it is as much an award for the team as it is for me. We’ve had so much success in the last year, and without them I wouldn’t even have been nominated.

“It also shows how highly women’s cricket is regarded now. We’ve not always got the recognition we deserve, but the standard has improved, we’re winning games and there is a lot more interest in the game.

"It is the third time I've been nominated and the first time I've won, so I am extremely pleased.

"I would like to thank my family for their continual support over the years and my England team-mates for making this such a special year."

Clare Connor, head of England women’s cricket at the ECB, said: “Isa thoroughly deserves this award.

"Since she made her England debut, aged only 17, she has been a consistent performer for the England women's cricket team in all formats of the game.

“As such, she has been an integral part of the England team's journey to become number one in the world.

“Off the pitch she is a terrific ambassador for her sport and is an aspirational role model for young Asian women who have a dream of their own to pursue. We are all immensely proud.”

Boxer Amir Khan, an ambassador for the awards, said: “Role models drive young talent to excel in their sport so I feel that this awards show is important in recognising the role models of the future.”

Guha follows in the footsteps of Nottinghamshire and England all-rounder Samit Patel, who won the award 12 months ago.

She flies out to India with the England squad later this week ahead of the one-day and Twenty20 series.