Women's cricket has received yet another boost by the recognition of two of their most
decorated cricketers in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
England captain Charlotte Edwards and vice-captain Jenny Gunn have been recognised for their dedication, achievement and commitment to the sport over a number of years by
being awarded a CBE and an MBE respectively. They have led England over a very successful twelve month period.
Last summer Edwards led England to Ashes glory against their old adversaries Australia and then followed this up by taking her side Down Under where they retained The Ashes. England also reached the final of the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh in February but were unfortunately defeated on that occasion.
Personally Edwards has also been rewarded for a fine year. In April she was named as one
of the Wisden Cricketers of the Year, becoming only the second woman to receive
the accolade in its history and then, only last week, she was named as the England Women's Cricketer of the Year for the fourth time.
Nottinghamshire all-rounder Gunn has now played for England for a decade during which time she has made more than 200 appearances and become a pivotal player in their ranks. She is now England's all-time international leading wicket-taker after achieving that feat last summer.
Both Edwards and Gunn have also tirelessly worked hard for the game off the pitch. They
are heavily involved with the Chance to Shine scheme where, as ambassadors, they promote the game to school children across the country hoping to involve as many youngsters as possible in order to ensure the game is not lost on the next generation of potential players.
Their awards are yet further recognition of the growing stature of women's cricket in
the 21st century. Edwards and Gunn can feel assured that they are playing a
vital part in this development and their awards reflect that.
Added to Edwards and Gunn there has been recognition for the sport at grass-roots
level. Sue Drinkwater, 52, from Cheltenham in Gloucestershire has been rewarded
for her dedication to cricket scoring with a British Empire Medal for her services to the game. Over the last three decades Drinkwater has trained prospective scorers in the intricate art of scoring and this award not only recognises her work but also that of the many volunteers and devoted cricket lovers involved in club cricket across the nation.
Others honoured for their contributions to the game at grass-roots level are Ken Lake,
Dr Paul Hawkins, Jane Hannah, Julie Cowley and Gordon Edwards.
The only notable lack of awards this year have been for England men's cricket but, given performances over the last year, this is hardly surprising. Lets hope that they get in on the act next year after a successful rebuilding process under Peter Moores and Alastair Cook culminating in lifting the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
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