ENGLAND’S World Cup-winning captain Heather Knight has been awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List.
England won the ICC’s 50-over competition for a fourth time last summer following previous triumphs in 1973, 1993 and 2009 – overcoming India by just nine runs in front of a capacity crowd at Lord’s.
Knight, the former Devon player from Plymouth led England to victory in a thrilling final. Just a few weeks later Knight captained Western Storm to victory in the Kia Super League final.
The 27-year-old said she was ‘blown away’ to receive the ‘massive honour’.
She added: “When I was a young girl playing cricket for my brother’s team in Plymouth, I couldn’t have imagined that one day I would get an honour for captaining my country to a successful World Cup,” Knight said
“It just shows what’s possible, and hopefully young girls pursuing sport today will see that it can take you places.”
She later Tweeted: “Delighted to be named in the New Year’s Honours List, 2017 just keeps getting better.
“Would have loved to see the whole team recognised, but chuffed all the same.”
Head coach Mark Robinson was also awarded an OBE.
Player of the Tournament Tammy Beaumont and Anya Shrubsole, Player of the Match in the Lord’s final for her six-wicket haul, were both awarded MBEs.
ECB’s Director of England Women’s Cricket, Clare Connor, was awarded a CBE reflecting her contribution to the team’s success and the wider development of the women’s game.
The former England captain, who led the team to a historic Ashes win in 2005, has previously been awarded an MBE and an OBE.
The honours announcement rounded off a year that has seen England’s achievements recognised at the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards, the Sports Journalists’ Association’s annual awards and the BT Sport Action Woman awards.
Colin Graves, the ECB chairman, said the latest honours capped a fantastic year for the women’s game.
“Our sincere congratulations to Heather, Tammy, Anya, Mark and Clare on their inclusion in the New Year’s Honours List.
“It’s fitting recognition for the way in which the team’s magnificent achievements this summer captured the imagination of the sporting public.
“Winning the World Cup in front of a capacity crowd at Lord’s was a truly game-changing moment not just for the team, but for the wider women’s game – the crowning moment in a hugely successful tournament which delivered record attendances and audiences and served as a powerful inspiration to more women and girls to take up the game.
“The award of such a prestigious honour to Clare also reflects the critical role she has played in creating our first domestic professional competition for women, the Kia Super League.
“The competition is already helping develop potential England players of the future as well as enjoying a 44 per increase in attendances last summer.”