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Page last updated at 05:34 GMT, Friday, 3 April 2009 06:34 UK

Taylor wins historic Wisden award

By Jamie Lillywhite

Claire Taylor
Taylor scored a century in England's first World Cup match agaist Sri Lanka

England's World Cup-winning batter Claire Taylor has become the first woman to be named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year.

The 33-year-old from Berkshire was the World Cup player of the tournament, scoring 324 runs at an average of 64.

"It's a huge honour to join this amazing list," she told BBC Sport.

England seamer James Anderson, Durham captain Dale Benkenstein and South Africans Mark Boucher and Neil McKenzie are the other players to be recognised.

The historic edition of the famous Wisden Almanack is the 146th, and the coveted awards have been in existence for 120 years.

Taylor has been an integral part of an England women's team that has grown dramatically in recent years.

Having retained the Ashes in Australia when Taylor scored 79 and an unbeaten 64 to orchestrate a six-wicket victory, they went through last summer undefeated, before the run culminated with a four-wicket World Cup final triumph over New Zealand in Australia.

She was told of the award before Christmas and has managed to hide the momentous news from even family and team-mates, although she admitted it was not easy information to conceal.

"It was slightly weird and I tried to almost forget it myself, but you see the star in the diary," she said.

Taylor combines her cricketing career with a management consultancy role based at Reading University, who are planning a celebration of their own with a special lunch next week.


"They've been really supportive all the way through and sent me messages throughout the World Cup," she said.

Commenting on Taylor's inclusion, Wisden editor Scyld Berry said: "It would be a sin of omission, an act of prejudice, to exclude her from the accolade."

Of the other featured players he added: "James Anderson has been England's most reliable pace bowler in the last year; Dale Benkenstein guided Durham to their first Championship, while Mark Boucher and Neil McKenzie were the backbone of the South African side which defeated England last summer."

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see also
World Cup joy for England women
22 Mar 09 |  Women's cricket
Women's World Cup photo diary
01 Apr 09 |  Women's cricket
Edwards cherishes special victory
22 Mar 09 |  Women's cricket
England look to prolific Taylor
05 Mar 09 |  Women's cricket
England duo handed Wisden award
09 Apr 08 |  Cricket
Flintoff hailed as world's best
11 Apr 06 |  England
Claire Taylor column
14 Dec 05 |  Women's cricket
Taylor shines for England
14 Feb 04 |  Cricket

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