Charlotte Marie Edwards
December 17, 1979, Huntingdon
Right hand Bat
Top order Batter
Charlotte Edwards became of the most significant figures of all time during her 20-year international career, for 10 of which she was England captain before it all came to an abrupt end in 2016. Edwards became the youngest woman to have played for England when she made her debut against New Zealand at Guildford as the age of 16 - Holly Colvin later became the youngest, aged 15, in the first Ashes Test in 2005 - and went on to be central to the evolution, or even revolution, of the women's game.
Edwards was anything but out of her depth when she started, and in 1997 smashed 12 centuries, including one off 118 balls against the touring South Africans. The day before her 18th birthday, she scored a then-record ODI score of 173 not out in a World Cup match against Ireland. In 1998-99 she scored her maiden Test hundred against India but, while still scoring runs, she did not score as many runs as had been expected. In 2000, she was sidelined by a serious cruciate ligament injury sustained while playing hockey which caused her to miss almost all of the 2001 season. When she returned, she showed no hint that her talent had been diminished by the lay-off and continued in the same punishing vein.
In 2005 she stepped up from her role as England vice-captain to take full charge of the side when Clare Connor was injured, and was appointed full-time when Connor retired in March 2006. Edwards captained England to a third-place finish in the Quadrangular Series in Chennai in 2007 and a home series loss to New Zealand. But then came the turnaround as England retained the Ashes in Australia, beat New Zealand away and India 4-0 at home. At the start of the World Cup 2009 in Australia, England were favourites for the trophy and Edwards led an inspired team to the title, dropping only one game in the process. Later that same year, they secured the inaugural World T20 title under her leadership.
She was awarded an MBE in June that year for her services to cricket and continued to be at the forefront of the game both in England and globally, taking seats on committees with MCC and ICC. In 2013 she led England to back-to-back Ashes triumphs although the team's record in global tournaments took a hit with a number of near-misses. In 2014 she was part of the group England players to be awarded central contracts by the ECB, another major milestone for the women's game, but team success became harder to find. The Ashes were conceded in 2015 followed by a semi-final exit to Australia at the World T20 in India which would prove her final international appearance.
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