Taylor crowned ICC player of the year
Watch ECBtv's report from the ICC Awards night in Johannesburg in the video player above
England batsman Claire Taylor has been named Women’s Cricketer of the Year at the International Cricket Council awards.
The 33-year-old beat Charlotte Edwards - her captain and last year's winner - and Australia pace bowler Shelley Nitschke to the prestigious award, which was presented at a star-studded ceremony in Johannesburg tonight.
The prize caps a remarkable year for Taylor, who has cemented her reputation as the finest player in the world while helping England establish themselves as the dominant force in the women's game.
She was a central figure in England winning the ICC World Cup in Australia and the ICC World Twenty20 this year – she was named player of the tournament on both occasions – before featuring in their successful Ashes defence.
“It has been an amazing year for women’s cricket and it has been a privilege to be involved in this great England team,” Taylor said after accepting the award.
“We have had a great team environment with Charlotte Edwards leading from the front and a fantastic support staff.
“The highlight for us was coming home from the one-day World Cup with the trophy and then playing really well in the ICC World Twenty20 at home in England.
“The ICC and ECB are working really hard to grow the women’s game.
"We are really trying to attract more and more women and girls into cricket and I think the success of the England national team helps to do that especially when we are given the chance – like this year – to compete on the big stage.”
Taylor, who in April became the first woman to be named one of Wisden’s five Cricketers of the Year, scored 565 runs at an average of 70.62 in the 18 one-day internationals she played during the voting period from August 13 2008 to August 24 2009.
She also averaged 115 over six Twenty20 matches, which included a stunning unbeaten 76 off 53 balls to seal victory over Australia in the World Twenty20 semi-final at the Brit Oval in June.
ECB chief executive David Collier added: “I would like to congratulate Claire Taylor on being named Women's Cricketer of the Year, an honour which comes at the end of a fantastic year for Claire and for the England team.
“Claire has been a key member in the side which won both the ICC Women's World Cup and the ICC Women's World Twenty20, claiming Player of the Tournament at both events.
“Claire's talent, hard work and dedication was recognised earlier this year when she was the first woman to be included among the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year, and she serves as an inspiration to thousands of women and girls playing cricket both in this country and worldwide.”