England news December 31, 2009

Claire Taylor honoured with MBE

Cricinfo staff

England batsman Claire Taylor will be awarded an MBE next year, after she was named in the New Year Honours List. The honour rounds off a successful year for Taylor, who was part of the England side that won both the Women's World Cup and the Women's World Twenty20. She was Player of the Tournament at both events and was named Women's Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in Johannesburg.

"Getting cricket-specific awards is great because it's recognition within cricket," Taylor, 34, was quoted as saying by the BBC. "But this is recognition in the wider community so this is special but in a completely different way."

Taylor's international career has spanned ten years and she is currently the fifth-highest run-getter in ODIs and is among only ten batsmen to score over 1000 runs in Tests. She is also the joint record-holder for the most centuries in ODIs, and, in April, became the first woman to be named one of Wisden's Five Cricketers of the Year.

Taylor will be unable to represent England in their upcoming tour of India due to work commitments but expects to return to action in May for the World Twenty20, which will be held in the Caribbean. Taylor said she hoped the profile of the women's game in England would grow further and wanted the sport "to be an accepted sporting path for a girl, and for younger and older women as well".

She added: "The elite players need to keep pushing forward and keep pushing the boundary of the quality of the game that we play and to keep building that respect that there is for the game.

"Other countries will get better and it's not just a matter of throwing money at it, I don't think that's the answer at all.

"It's making sure that we play the right competitions and we have the right opportunities to play against international opposition."

Taylor read maths at Oxford, where, in addition to playing cricket, she captained the hockey team. She also represented England's hockey team at U-17 and U-19 levels.