Happy Birthday Karen Smithies | Meet The Cricketer Who Led England To Glory At Just 24!

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Karen Smithies Receiving The 1993 Women’s Cricket World Cup

It was until last year’s Men’s ODI World Cup, that In the name of “An ODI Cricket World Cup”, The English Cricket Board only had 4 titles and that too were won by the Women’s Cricket Team. However, a brilliant Ben Stokes saw the male team to get over the line in the 2019 finals and that too by the finest of margins.

Out of the four Cricket World Cup’s won by the ladies of this nation, the one that came in the year 1993 saw a very young 24-year-old Karen Smithies take her team to glory in a tournament which included 8 World Class teams.

In the context of this English Legend’s Birthday today, let’s take you through some of the least known facts about this fabulous lady cricketer.

Smithies was born on 20th March 1969 in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire. She represented England in 15 Test Matches and 69 One-Day Internationals.

She is the youngest female cricketer ever to lead a team to glory at a World Cup, Smithies was just 24 when she saw her team to glory at the 1993 Women’s Cricket World Cup.

The England team celebrate their victory over New Zealand in the final of the Women’s Cricket World Cup at Lord’s, London, 1st August 1993. (Photo by Adrian Murrell/Getty Images)

Smithies was an all-rounder who batted left-handed and bowled right-arm seam. In the 15 Test Matches she featured, she made 443 runs and managed to pick up 16 wickets. In the 69 ODI’s she played she made 921 runs and took 64 wickets. Her highest ODI score of 110 Not Out came against Indian Women Cricket Team. 

When she played she was the most feisty and out-spoken women cricketer, it is said that she laid the groundwork for English Women’s Cricket to become fully professional and provided them with the platform from which they approached equally with the men’s cricket team.

England’s Jo Chamberlain (l) and captain Karen Smithies (r) kiss the trophy after beating New Zealand in the final

In the year 1998, she started going to South Africa to coach the girls at The University of Pretoria, where she moved permanently in the year 2003. She’s now helping with the program prepared for the top-notch performance of the cricketers.

In the year 2006, She was appointed as the Team Administrator of The Titans, under their coach Richard Pybus, she was said to have struck up an excellent relationship with the players as soon as she joined the team. Her high-level understanding of the game enabled her to give her best in mentoring players of this generation.

Even after her retirement, she’s undoubtedly one of the finest cricketers the game has ever got.

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