Women's Player of the Year Karen Rolton - 2006 Women's Player of the Year Australia captain Karen Rolton won the inaugural Women’s Player of the Year at the ICC Awards in Mumbai. The 31-year-old South Australian has had a remarkable year, averaging almost 50 with the bat and has had a number of successes, including 71 and 97 in the second Ashes Test at Hove in August 2005 and a half-century against India in February 2006. Rolton also registered her best one-day bowling figures in that series against India, taking 4-29 in her home city of Adelaide. This is the first year of the Women’s Player of the Year with women’s cricket having been integrated into the ICC since the last awards night. ICC Chief Executive Malcolm Speed said: “Karen has been a fantastic player for Australia for many years and she fully deserves this award. She is an inspiration to other sportswomen and men around the world for her dedication and obvious passion for cricket. “I am delighted that we have included for the first time the Women’s Player of the Year award into the other honours tonight as it reflects our commitment to developing the women’s game into the future,” he said. Accepting the award, Rolton said: “I think it’s great for women’s cricket. It’s fantastic that the ICC has included a women’s award this year and it is greatly appreciated. We are trying to progress women’s cricket and this certainly helps. It’s wonderful to be here among some fantastic players – I might even pick up a few tips and tactics. “It means a lot to me. The other nominees are very strong. Katherine Brunt has had a great year and she is one for the future and Anjum Chopra has been around a while doing a great job for India for many years.” The award winner was chosen by a panel of experts on the women’s game and Rolton beat Anjum Chopra of India and England’s Katherine Brunt to take the honour. Rolton won her 100 th ODI cap for Australia in October during the series against New Zealand. The period for the awards was from 1 August 2005 to 8 August 2006. For the Women’s Cricketer of the Year, each ICC Member that played international cricket during the voting period was eligible to nominate two players. The resultant list was then voted upon by an academy of 12 leading former players and influential figures in the women’s game including members of the media. The trophy, produced by Swarovski, features a crystal cricket ball studded with over 4200 Swarovski crystal chantons, cusped in a hand which extends from an aluminium base. The hand represents the theme of "breaking through" in pursuit of excellence. The trophy features a crystal ball, weighs 1.2 kilograms, is 30 centimetres high and 11 centimetres in width.