TAMMY Beaumont joined a very select group last week when she was named Wisden Cricketer of the Year – just the sixth woman to do so.
The opener joins current teammates Heather Knight, Anya Shrubsole and Nat Sciver, as well as two of England Women’s greatest-ever batters Claire Taylor and Charlotte Edwards, in winning the award.
For Beaumont, 28, the most pleasing aspect of the award was the universally positive reaction to her inclusion alongside Surrey duo Rory Burns and Sam Curran, plus Jos Buttler and Virat Kohli.
She said: “I’ve had so many lovely messages over social media. Teammates and members of staff have been in touch as well, so it’s been nice to see all the really positive messages about it.
“I saw messages on Twitter and it was really nice not to have any ‘why has a woman got it?’ or ‘why does she deserve it?’ No one was really debating why I’d got it, which was nice to see that everyone was really positive.
“I had to keep quiet for quite a few months in the end so it was nice for it come out and it not to be a big secret.
“It was great for myself and women’s cricket as a whole to have another player recognised is great.
“You never really think about trying to achieve something like that in your career, runs are the currency but it’s a massive honour. When it comes along it’s a shock and surprise and will mean an awful lot, particularly that it’s a Wisden award I’ve been given, it will take pride of place at home.”
Fresh from a fortnight off, Beaumont was back with the England squad this week as they prepare for a busy summer against the West Indies and then the Ashes.
Having started cricket drills this week, the build-up will continue with warm-up games that begin in a couple of weeks.
England come into it off the back of a fine end to their winter tour of India and Sri Lanka, responding to losing the one-day series in India by rattling off ten successive victories.
The slow start in the Sub-continent mirrored the drawn series in the last Ashes Down Under, that saw Australia retain the urn.
Beaumont knows that is something England cannot afford with the Australians over this summer.
“You go out to the Sub-continent and expect it to spin,” she added. “We kind of only had one warm-up game and were straight into an ODI series against a very good India team in their home conditions, and they’d been playing a lot of cricket.
“So it was really hard and by the time we got finished, the confidence and cricket we were playing would have challenged them a lot more but 2-1 was probably a fair result in the end.
“But then winning ten on the bounce puts us in a really good place for our busy season ahead.
“Three or four days after the West Indies series we’re into the Ashes, and that’s the big one really.
“It’s incredibly difficult to win an Ashes in an away environment so, hopefully, the Australians will find that over here. We started slowly out there in 2017, that will be the big thing. It was probably the first few ODIs where we lost that series.
“It would have been nice to do it in Australia, that’s something we’d love to do in the future, but our sights are firmly set on bringing them home this time.
“It’s a good thing for us to put right and hit the ground running.”
PAUL EDDISON / Photo: Getty Images