Rolton wins women's award

Karen Rolton

Karen Rolton © Getty Images

Australia captain Karen Rolton won the inaugural women’s player of the year at the ICC Awards in Mumbai on Friday.

The 31-year-old South Australian had a remarkable year, averaging almost 50 with the bat, with innings of 71 and 97 in the second Ashes Test at Hove, in August 2005, and a half-century against India in February 2006.

Rolton also registered her best one-day bowling figures in that series against India, taking 4-29 in her home city of Adelaide. She also won her 100th ODI cap for Australia in October during the series against New Zealand.

This is the first time the women’s player of the year has been recognised, with women’s cricket having been integrated into the ICC since the last awards night in December 2005.

ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said: “Karen has been a fantastic player for Australia for many years and she fully deserves this award.

Karen Rolton

Karen Rolton © Getty Images

"She is an inspiration to other sportswomen and men around the world for her dedication and obvious passion for cricket.

“I am delighted that we have included for the first time the women’s player of the year award into the other honours tonight as it reflects our commitment to developing the women’s game into the future.”

Accepting the award, Rolton said: “I think it’s great for women’s cricket. It’s fantastic that the ICC has included a women’s award this year and it is greatly appreciated.

"We are trying to progress women’s cricket and this certainly helps. It’s wonderful to be here among some fantastic players – I might even pick up a few tips and tactics.

“It means a lot to me. The other nominees are very strong. Katherine Brunt has had a great year and she is one for the future and Anjum Chopra has been around a while doing a great job for India for many years.”

The trophy, produced by Swarovski, features a crystal cricket ball studded with over 4200 Swarovski crystal chantons, cusped in a hand which extends from an aluminium base.

The hand represents the theme of "breaking through" in pursuit of excellence.