England Women's captain Charlotte Edwards has described her shock at being honoured by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as the Women Cricketer of the Year at the annual ICC Awards in Dubai.
Edwards, 28, was named as the recipient of the award after being shortlisted alongside team-mate Claire Taylor, New Zealand's Nicola Browne and Australia's Lisa Sthalekar.
"This has just topped off an unbelievable year for me personally and the team as well," she said. "To be honest I am a bit shocked, but really pleased to accept this award.
“We’ve had a fantastic year with series wins over New Zealand, the West Indies, South Africa and India as well as the Ashes victory in Australia in February, which was a personal highlight. We’ll look to continue that form as we head into next year with the ICC Women’s World Cup in Australia in March and the ICC World Twenty20 in England in June.
“This is a massive night for women’s cricket. It’s a huge honour for me to be involved in a ceremony like this – I’m so glad that the ICC is recognising the women’s game. It’s a big moment for the other girls who have been nominated for this and I am honoured to be included in that short-list, let alone win it.”
During the voting period, Edwards, who also captains Kent, played 18 One Day Internationals, hitting 492 runs at an average of over 50 while her only Test saw her hit 94 not out and 14 as England retained the Ashes in Bowral.
Edwards guided England through a summer schedule of 15 matches (12 ODIs, three Twenty20s) without losing a match against the West Indies, South Africa and India in the run up to the World Cup in Australia in March.
© Cricket World 2008