Lincolnshire Sportswoman of the Year Arran Brindle has hailed the support of Louth Cricket club and the East Lindsey District Council for her rise to the top level.
The England Women’s cricketer won the county-wide award at a glittering ceremony hosted by BBC presenter Dan Walker at Lincoln’s Epic Centre on Thursday night, beating competition from the likes of veteran squash player Fran Wallis and Team GB Hockey player Georgie Twigg.
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Brindle was part of the England team that cruised to a 3-0 one-day international (ODI) series win away to South Africa last month, where the 29-year-old also scored her first ODI century, an unbeaten 107 in testing conditions.
On the domestic level, she plays for the Men’s 1st XI at Louth, where she has racked up 178 appearances and nearly 3,000 runs since her debut in 2002.
In 2006, Brindle took a break from international cricket to focus on her family, but her return in 2010 has seen a steady growth in form and following the awards ceremony.
She said: “There is a massive support network behind me and winning awards like this, especially locally, is recognition of all the hard work.
“It’s like a massive buzz for nine months of hard work and all the people that have supported me in that period of time. It just makes it register again what you have achieved.
“We’re just usually going on a day-to-day basis and go from one game to the next and don’t necessarily think about it too much. Until you get to a night like this and realise how much people have put in and supported you along the way.”
She added: “East Lindsey have done a massive investment in sport in general, but cricket especially. I wouldn’t have been able to get back into England cricket if there wasn’t the Meridian Leisure Centre where I could do my gym sessions and the revamp of Louth cricket club in terms of the London Road site.
“Without those facilities at my doorstep there’s no way that I’d have been able to commit to the training that’s required to play international cricket.
“On the training side, there’s massive support from Louth. The captain for this year Mark Roberts spent a lot of time throwing cricket balls at me during the winter getting me ready for this season.
“And obviously my family; without them looking after our little boy and supporting me on tour, it’s just not possible.”
On her performances in the recent tour of South Africa, she said: “The opportunity to bat for England is premium at the minute. We’ve got some superb batters in the top five and six.
“To try and cement my place at five was a massive thing for that tour. To get a hundred in the first game obviously was testament to the hard work I had put in prior to the trip. Hopefully I can kick on and get a few more in the near future.”