Surrey Women players Alice Capsey & Sophia Dunkley both won awards at this year’s 75th Cricket Writers’ Club lunch at The Kia Oval this afternoon.
Sophia Dunkley won the JM Finn Women’s Cricket Award after making an immediate impact at Test and white-ball level in her debut England season in those formats. 17-year-old Alice Capsey was the winner of the inaugural Sumaridge Estate Wines Emerging Cricketer of the Year after starring in the Hundred & at the regional level with South East Stars.
Dunkley enjoyed immediate success at Test and ODI level with England this season, having made her T20 debut several years earlier.
Against India, the 23 year old scored an unbeaten 74 in the Test match and 73 not out in just her second ODI appearance.
“Dunkley has made crucial contributions to England in all formats this summer,” said Amy Lofthouse, convenor of the women’s award panel.
“In her first Test match appearance, where she was the first Black woman to play Test cricket for England, she rescued the hosts against India with a sparkling half-century. Her form continued into the one-day series, where a superb 73 in her first innings in the format helped England to a crucial five-wicket win. She continued her good form in the Hundred, finishing as the tournament’s third-leading run scorer as Southern Brave reached the final.”
Dunkley added: “There have been a lot of highlights for me this summer but making my Test debut was obviously very special, they don’t come around that often in the women’s game. To go on to make my ODI debut was also something I had dreamt of growing up as well.”
As for the wider significance of her feat in becoming the first Black woman to play Test cricket for England, Dunkley said: “It wasn’t until after the game that I took in what it meant. It’s something I’m very proud of looking back now.”
Now Dunkley can look forward to being involved in an Ashes series and a World Cup in what promises to be a busy winter for the England Women’s team.
“To be involved in my first Ashes would be amazing. I was in the crowd at the 2017 World Cup final at Lord’s watching on, seeing what a magical moment that was, and now to be involved in that squad is a dream come true.”
Capsey enjoyed a breakout year as the 17-year-old helped the Oval Invincibles win the women’s Hundred and the South East Stars lift the Charlotte Edwards Cup.
Across the four competitions in which she appeared, Capsey struck 629 runs and took 30 wickets with her useful off-breaks.
But it was in the Hundred where Capsey came to prominence, scoring 150 runs at a higher strike rate than any of her top-order colleagues while also taking 10 wickets as she became the best-known schoolgirl cricketer in England.
“It’s been incredible, a really special summer to be part of and one I’ll remember for a very long time,” Capsey said. “To end the season with two trophies is great.
“It was really special to be at Lord’s and to get a fifty was incredible…I loved being in front of the crowd and I felt like I belonged there. It was uplifting.”
Other victors on the day were LV= County Championship Player of the Year Luke Fletcher, NV Play Young Player of the Year Harry Brook & Lord’s Taverners Disability Cricketer of the Year Alex Jervis.