Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ECB: Cricket duo recognised in King’s Birthday Honours

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Photo Credit: ECB

Record-breaking England cricketer Katherine Sciver-Brunt and the ECB’s Head of Disability Cricket Ian Martin have been recognised for their services to the sport in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Katherine, who retired last year after a 19-year England career, is awarded an OBE for services to women’s cricket and to the community in Yorkshire, while Ian receives an MBE for services to sport and charity after more than 20 years spent working to develop and grow the disability game.

ECB Chair Richard Thompson said: “Huge congratulations to Katherine and Ian. They are truly deserving of their awards and have done so much to drive cricket forwards.

“Katherine is a cricket legend. Her achievements – in the wickets she has taken and the World Cups and Ashes she has won – speak for themselves. She has blazed a trail for those who are following in her footsteps today and has played such an important role in fuelling the growth of women’s cricket. She is a true inspiration.

“For 20 years Ian has been a leading force in developing cricket for people with disabilities, establishing and growing the England disability teams, launching the pioneering Disability Premier League and overseeing the growth of the sport for disabled people at a grassroots level. Without Ian, the landscape of disability cricket in England and Wales would not be the thriving and vibrant scene it is today. Few have done more than Ian to bring disability cricket into the mainstream.

“As we strive to make cricket the most inclusive team sport, we owe both Katherine and Ian a lot for all they have done, and I am delighted they have been honoured today.”

Right-arm seamer Katherine Sciver-Brunt played 267 times for her country, taking 335 wickets across all formats before retiring in 2023.

In a career spanning 19 years, the Barnsley-born bowler won three World Cups, four Ashes series’ and was named England Women’s cricketer of the year on four occasions.

Domestically, she played for Yorkshire, Yorkshire Diamonds, Northern Diamonds and Trent Rockets and also represented Perth Scorchers and Melbourne Stars in the Women’s Big Bash League.

Katherine Sciver-Brunt said: “When I received my letter I have to say I was quite emotional.

“Representing my country for 19 years filled me with passion and pride. It’s the same feeling I get now when I think of receiving this award.

“It’s such a great honour that I can one day share with my children.”

Ian Martin, a Royal Navy veteran, was diagnosed with a neuro-muscular condition in 1994. For the last 20 years he has played a leading role in developing the sport of cricket for people with disabilities, from becoming the England and Wales Cricket Board’s first full-time Disability Manager in 2007, rising to lead its Disability Cricket department.

He established and grew the ECB’s four disability cricket teams: physical disability, visually impaired, deaf, and learning disability squads, creating a world-class elite disability programme. He spearheaded the launch of the pioneering Disability Premier League in 2022, a pioneering cricket competition which brings together players from three different disability groups – physical disability (PD), learning disability (LD) and hearing impairment/deaf.

He has overseen the growth in participation of disabled people in cricket to over 70,000 people. He served for several years until 2022 as a volunteer trustee with the Lord’s Taverners charity, imparting his knowledge and expertise to grow grassroots disability cricket across England and Wales. He is also a Vice Chair of the Neuro Muscular Centre – working to support people with affected by muscular dystrophy.

Ian Martin said: “I’m very honoured and humbled to receive such recognition. I think it reflects how far the disabled game has come and the hard work put in over many years, not only by myself but everyone working in the disabled game.

“I’m privileged to lead an amazing team and I’m thankful to those who granted me the opportunity to do so and to my family for their continued love and support. To receive an honour from the King is amazing and I am very proud.”

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