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November 3, 2006
Karen Rolton, the Australia captain, has won the inaugural Women's Player of the Year award at the ICC Awards in Mumbai.
Rolton, 31, had a remarkable year averaging nearly 50 with the bat - including innings of 71 and 97 in the second Ashes Test in August 2005 - while she recorded her best one-day bowling figures of 4 for 29 against India.
"Karen has been a fantastic player for Australia for many years and she fully deserves this award," Malcolm Speed, the ICC chief executive said. "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 award winner was chosen by a panel of experts on the women's game and Rolton beat Chopra of India and England's Brunt to take the honour.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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