Legendary England cricketer Charlotte Edwards has been inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame, recognising a career that’s impact stretches far beyond her record-breaking numbers.
In a career that spanned more than 20 years, Edwards scored vast quantities of runs across all formats, captained England in two triumphant World Cup campaigns, and blazed a trail for the future of the women’s game in England and across the world.
At the time of her retirement in 2016, Edwards was the leading women’s run-scorer from any nation in the history of both ODI and T20 cricket.
A vastly-talented youth prospect, Edwards – known to many as Lottie – became the youngest woman to represent England when she received her first cap at the age of just 16.
Runs flowed right from the start of the opening batter’s career, with the right-hander scoring a record-breaking 173* against Ireland in the 1997 ODI World Cup, cementing her status as one of the brightest prospects in the game.
And Edwards barely looked back in two decades of world-class contributions to the England national team.
Edwards was named the ICC Woman’s Player of the Year in 2008, before captaining the side to triple glory the following year.
Under her tutelage, England put together a successful campaign in the 2009 World Cup in Australia, beating New Zealand in the final in Sydney to earn England their first title in 16 years.
And it was Edwards again who lifted the trophy above her head when England won the inaugural ICC Women’s T20 World Cup on home soil later that same year, demolishing the Kiwis in the final at Lord’s.
Rounding off the most successful year of her career, Edwards led England to a defence of the Ashes later that summer – one of five occasions in which Edwards was part of an Ashes-winning-or-retaining England side during her career.
A run-scoring machine at the top of the order for England, Edwards racked up huge career tallies in both formats of the white-ball game.
She remains the record run-scorer in both ODIs and T20Is for England, scoring 5992 runs at an average of 38.16 in 191 ODIs and 2605 runs at 32.97 in 95 T20Is.
And those are records that compare favourably to most of the world’s greatest ever players, with only Mithali Raj able to surpass her in ODIs, and all six players now above her in the all-time T20I standings having played significantly more matches in the rapidly-expanding format.
A handy bowler when she turned her arm over, Edwards also picked up 75 international wickets across the three formats with her leg-spin, which proved particular effective in One Day Internationals, where her 54 wickets came at 21.74.
As an opening batter with a classical and solid technique, it was perhaps unsurprising that Edwards also excelled in the 23 Tests in which she played during her career.
A total of 1676 runs came for her in the longer format, at an average of 44.10, with only fellow ICC Hall of Fame member Jan Brittin having scored more Test runs for England.
Edwards stepped up to captain England in 2005, and remained in charge across the formats for a decade, skippering the side to victory in the first two Ashes series to utilise the multi-format points system, winning both at home in 2013 and then away in 2014.
Her strong leadership style earned her a big reputation across the game, and she has held seats on committees with both the ICC and MCC.
As the figurehead of the England women’s team at a time of great change, Edwards’ captaincy spanned the transition from amateur to professionalism, with the England Cricket Board introducing central contracts for women’s cricketers for the first time in 2014.
Her contribution to the development of the game showed no signs of waning in retirement, with Edwards taking to coaching with Hampshire, the Southern Vipers and Southern Brave.
And her significant and ongoing impact on women’s cricket was given further public recognition when, in 2021, the ECB named their new T20I competition the ‘Charlotte Edwards Cup’.
As a batter, a captain and a figurehead, Edwards’ impact on cricket can barely be overstated. She will go down in history as one of the most influential English players to have ever played the game.
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